June 2018 \ Business & Investment \ Diplomacy and Business—South East Asia
PM visits Singapore and Indonesia

Stating that political relations between India and Singapore are among the warmest and closest...

India and Singapore elevated their bilateral ties to that of a Strategic Partnership in 2015. Mr Modi said that when India opened up to the world and turned to the east, Singapore became a partner and a bridge between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) regional bloc. “Political relations between India and Singapore are among the warmest and closest,” he said. “There are no contests or claims, no irritants or doubts.” Stating that it is a natural partnership from a shared vision, he said defence relations between India and Singapore are also among the strongest.

“In international forums, we speak in one voice in the cause of a rules-based order, sovereign equality of all nations, and free and open pathways of commerce and engagement,” the Indian Prime Minister said. “Economics is the heart-beat of the relationship.” Stating that this partnership is at the front-line of India’s global engagement, Modi said Singapore is both a leading investment source and destination for India. “Singapore was the first country with which we signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (in 2005),” he said. Nearly 250 flights in each direction every week connect Singapore to 16 Indian cities and added that it is set to grow. “India is the third largest source of tourists in Singapore and its fastest growing. Our IT companies are helping Singapore stay smart and competitive.”

Mr Modi said that in many areas of India’s development priorities like smart cities, urban solutions, financial sector, skills development, ports, logistics, aviation and industrial parks, Singapore is a key partner. “As Singapore shapes a new future for itself, India emerges as the new global frontier of opportunities,” he said. “Even in a year of deep structural reforms like the introduction of Goods and Services Tax, we remain the fastest growing major economy of the world.” Stating that economic reforms are taking place in India at a speed and a scale not known so far, he said this has helped the country move up 42 places in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business rankings. He also gave a review of the various development and financial initiatives of his Government.