WEF 2018: Regional cooperation key to prosperity, says Union Minister MJ Akbar

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Davos | Published: January 25, 2018 4:21:50 AM

India is a great believer in cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels, Union minister M J Akbar said, as he strongly vouched for the principle of "shared prosperity" to take the economic growth process ahead for entire Asia.

WEF 2018, MJ Akbar, Union Minister MJ Akbar, Regional cooperation India is a great believer in cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels, Union minister M J Akbar said, as he strongly vouched for the principle of “shared prosperity” to take the economic growth process ahead for entire Asia. (PTI)

India is a great believer in cooperation at the regional and multilateral levels, Union minister M J Akbar said, as he strongly vouched for the principle of “shared prosperity” to take the economic growth process ahead for entire Asia. He also termed India’s relationship with China as one of the most matured ones within the region, despite a long-standing border dispute. Speaking at a session on securing peace and stability in the Asian century, the minister of state for external affairs told the World Economic Forum (WEF) that the presence of Asean leaders in Delhi today itself is a testimony to India’s commitment to robust regional relationships. “It doesn’t require a degree to understand that cooperation is very important,” Akbar said during the annual WEF summit which has a theme of ‘Creating shared future in a fractured world’. “Can anyone in entire Davos today claim there are no problems in this world? If (there are) no problems there will be no Davos,” he said, while asserting that problems will be there but everyone must keep moving on.

He said democracy allows philosophy of pluralism and it is pluralism that the terrorists try to destroy in every part of the world. Talking about nomenclature, Akbar wondered why the Middle East is called so when it is India which is actually in the middle of the map. He also said one of the most mature relationships that developed in Asia is between India and China and that too despite the fact that one of the oldest border disputes is there between the two countries. Stating that cooperation is the way forward, the minister said it is the shared prosperity that played its role and prosperity grows only when you share it. “If we look around from India on the map, one common point is that all the countries want economic growth but it is the conflicts which come in the way,” he noted. Any nation’s development will be indigenous in nature, Akbar observed and said that he is talking about India but believes this will be true for any country.

Bangladesh Foreign Minister Abul Hassan Mahmood Ali said Asia Pacific is going through tumultuous times and his country has seen it up close in last few months in the wake of the Rohingya crisis. The crisis has tested Bangladesh, the minister said, adding that nobody should shy away from such issues that require attention of the entire international community. Noting that every state must engage equitably with all, including the marginalised population, Ali said Bangladesh reached out and stood by the Rohingya population as part of the “shared responsibility” when the crisis happened and India also stood by it at that time. He said the Rohingya population in two districts of Bangladesh has overtaken the local population of that area. On Chinese attempts to have more influence in the region, Ali said Bangladesh shares a big boundary with India and there is a huge shared culture, making it natural for the top priority to be India. It is again about shared prosperity, he added. He also said there is no contradiction between the country’s close relationship with India and the relationship with China.

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