India, Singapore discuss economic ties, connectivity
New Delhi: Economic and commercial ties and connectivity between India and Singapore were among the issues that came up for discussion when Prime Minister Narendra Modi met his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong here on Thursday.
“Strategic partnership rooted in commercial, cultural and people-to-people contacts,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar tweeted.
Kumar said the two leaders had a “productive discussion” on economic and commercial ties, financial technology, tourism, enhanced connectivity and smart cities.
The India-Singapore relationship was elevated to that of a Strategic Partnership during Modi’s visit to that city state in 2015.
There are five areas of cooperation to enhance bilateral relations – referred to as 5S Plank – which direct the relationship: scaling up trade and investment; speeding up connectivity; smart cities and urban rejuvenation; skill development; and state focus.
Singapore is India’s second largest trading partner among the 10-nation Association of Southeast Asia Nations (Asean).
After the two sides signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in 2005, bilateral trade touched $16.7 billion in 2016-17, according to the External Affairs Ministry.
Earlier on Thursday, Modi also held a bilateral with Thailand Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.
Lee arrived here on Wednesday to attend the Commemorative Summit to mark 25 years of the India-Asean Dialogue Partnership to be held later on Thursday.
Heads of state and government of all 10 Asean nations will be attending the Summit.
The Asean comprises Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
On Friday, Lee will be among all 10 Asean heads of state and government who will attend this year’s Republic Day celebrations as guests of honour, something unprecedented. The leader of only one foreign country has attended the event as the chief guest all these years.