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Indian Diaspora has an important role to play in South-East Asian countries’ economy and society. Appraise the role of Indian Diaspora in South- East Asia in this context. (250 words)

Indian Diaspora has played a significant role in the economy and society of South-East Asian countries. With historical ties dating back to the Chola era, the Indian community has contributed to various aspects of the region’s development.

  • Economic Contribution: The Indian community contributes around 2% of Malaysia’s GDP and 3% of its international trade. In countries like Singapore, Malaysia, and Myanmar, Indians comprise 9%, 7%, and 4% of the population, respectively.
  • Professional Services: Indians have been involved in key sectors such as government, education, and professional services in countries like Malaysia and Myanmar.
  • Cultural Influence: The Indian Diaspora has helped in promoting cultural exchange and understanding between India and South-East Asian countries. This has led to the Indianization and Sanskritization of the region, with the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism.
  • Trade Relations: South-East Asia accounts for about 10.2% of overall Indian trade, making the region economically and strategically important for India. ASEAN is India’s 4th largest trading partner.
  • Philanthropy: The Indian Diaspora has also been involved in philanthropic activities in South-East Asia, contributing to the development of the region.
  • Skilled Workforce: The Indian Diaspora has provided a skilled workforce in various sectors, contributing to the growth and development of South-East Asian countries.

In conclusion, the Indian Diaspora has played a crucial role in the economic and societal development of South-East Asian countries. Their contributions in various sectors have not only strengthened the ties between India and the region but also promoted cultural exchange and understanding.

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