India will emerge as powerful as China: Thai Ambassador

ANI | Updated: Jan 23, 2018 23:23 IST

New Delhi [India] Jan 23 (ANI): Thailand Ambassador to India Chutintorn Gongsakdi on Tuesday said within the next 20 years India will emerge as powerful as China.

Talking to ANI, Gongsakdi said, "Somebody used to say that as an Asian country, your future is secure if you have one foot in India and one foot in China. But, China will still be an economic powerhouse, may be for the next 50 years but within next 20 years India will emerge as powerful as China. So, we have to invest today with the future of India."

The Thai ambassador also lauded the impact of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) on Indian economy.

"The GST has unified India in one single economic space. Earlier, Thai investors had to deal with the question of trading across states. It was almost as if having different countries. So, this has helped the ease of doing business," said the Thai ambassador.

He added this year India's position on ease of doing business index will improve a lot.

"Due to the GST, this year India's position on ease of doing business index will improve a lot. And that is what ASEAN is trying to do with our integration. As long as the states in ASEAN and states in India function differently then the benefits of our economic integration will not be felt to the maximum. So, still we will have to push that," Gongsakdi said.

He also batted for unity among the ASEAN countries as all the 10 members individually do not count for anything.

"All the 10 ASEAN members individually do not count for anything. We need the size and economic integration. The political integration may come later. If we are looking into the model of EU, if you are looking into the future, we might have shared foreign policy; that is further down the line. But in a region that is evolving, the ASEAN needs to be strong in order to maintain what ASEAN values are the centrality of the ASEAN in this region," the Thai ambassador asserted.

On the question of key agendas of this year's ASEAN meeting, the Thai ambassador said, "We are on the track of this year's theme of 'common values, shared prosperity'. We can do more on maritime cooperation and prosperity. Many countries including my own are focussed on land. When we go to forums like the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and the Indian Ocean Rim Association that talk about the sea and blue economy pushes us to think outside our original box."

He said the ASEAN meeting is going to discuss maritime cooperation and security, which will make us explore the other areas of potential for ASEAN and India. (ANI)

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