Singapore: A car rally to celebrate the 20 years of dialogue partnership of India with Southeast Asian bloc ASEAN was flagged off here on Wednesday.
Singapore Foreign Minister K Shanmugan along with other Indian and regional officials flagged off the rally which formally began from the Indonesian city of Jogjakarta on November 25. It is set to reach Guwahati on December 19. BJP MP Tarun Vijay is leading the Indian team in the rally.
The 31-car rally is a centrepiece in series of events celebrating 20th Anniversary of ASEAN-India relations, celebration of which would be held in New Delhi next month.
"Singapore is happy and honoured to have been selected as the ceremonial flag-off point," said Shanmugam. The fleet of Hardy Mahindra SUVs would cover more than 8,000 km over 22 days.
More than 120 drivers from ASEAN and India are participating in the rally which would drive through some challenging terrains of South East Asia and hills of Myanmar.
Vijay said the rally was a unique way of promoting Indian-ASEAN relations to the next high level.
"It will help develop economic and knowledge based relations, building on the cenutries old historic links between India and the region," Vijay told PTI at the flag-off ceremony held at Singapore's Formula 1 pit along the Marina Bay waterfront.
The last ASEAN-India rally was held in 2004.