ASEAN-India Bazaar: Connecting Cultures through Commerce

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ASEAN-India Bazaar: Connecting Cultures through Commerce
Joanne B. Agbisit
Associate Editor, The ASEAN | ASEAN Socio-Cultural Community Department

The Mission of India to ASEAN partnered with the Indo-Indian community to organise another ASEAN-India Bazaar. The event was a lead-up to the anniversary of the ASEAN-India dialogue relations on 12 November.

The one-day bazaar, held on 22 October 2023 in Jakarta, gathered dozens of vendors selling a wide range of products, including garments, jewellery, fashion accessories, home décor, and food and beverage. ASEAN Member States also set up their stalls, displaying local wares such as textiles, handicrafts, and food items. Indian cultural performances and a fashion show were some of the day’s highlights.

India’s Permanent Representative to ASEAN, Ambassador Jayant Khobragade, and Deputy Secretary General (DSG) of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community Satvinder Singh officially opened the bazaar.

Ambassador Khobragade emphasised the special relationship between ASEAN and India in his opening remarks. He noted, “We had achieved a comprehensive strategic partnership, which means the highest level of relationship with ASEAN. As of last calendar year, ASEAN was our biggest trading partner.”

Ambassador Khobragade also stressed there is much to celebrate this year as ASEAN and India mark their 31st year of ties. He cited one of India’s most recent feats—the successful landing of its spacecraft, Chandrayaan-3, near the southern pole of the Moon. “It was successfully done. And you know, that is the beauty of Indian innovators, that it was done with a modest budget, which is much less than the budget for movies.”

Meanwhile, DSG Satvinder Singh praised the initiative, stating that the event is “a testimony of India’s continued commitment to deepening cultural linkages with ASEAN, and on the economic side, supporting the connectivity of our micro, small, medium enterprises.”

He said, “All business owners who are participating will help generate jobs for a diverse range of informal enterprises. All of this contributes to supporting our economy and the well-being of our people. The bazaar is truly a very relevant initiative that aims to promote the development of our people on both sides, enhance our cultural exchanges, and promote greater amounts of cultural and traditional sharing from both sides.”

The bazaar attracted a large multicultural crowd, marking the successful celebration of the ASEAN-India partnership.

India's Permanent Representative to ASEAN, Ambassador Jayant Khobragade (second from left), and Deputy Secretary-General of ASEAN for the ASEAN Economic Community, Satvinder Singh (centre), officially opened the ASEAN-India Bazaar (22/10/2023)