India PM holds talks with Singapore PM

Singapore: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today invited greater investments from Singapore, describing the city-state as a "valued partner" for India`s ambitious plans for infrastructure development which requires about one trillion dollars over five years.

Singh, who is here on a two-day visit, made the strong pitch for investments as he held talks with Singapore`s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on ways to boost the ties in a wide range of areas, including security and defence cooperation.

Lee extended his country`s support to India`s permanent membership of an expanded UN Security Council. "Our government places the highest priority on our relations with Singapore. Ours is a partnership that stands on the foundation of shared values of pluralism, secularism and democracy, and convergence of our perspectives on regional and international issues," Singh said at a luncheon hosted by Lee.

"Singapore has emerged as a valued partner for our ambitious plans for infrastructure development. It is India`s largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN," he said, adding "We welcome greater investment and technology flows from Singapore."

Singh discussed the issue of investments during his talks with Lee prior to the lunch, highlighting how India requires greater funds to develop its infrastructure and other sectors.

The government has estimated that USD one trillion would be required only for infrastructure development over a five-year period.

Singapore`s foreign direct investment in India is the second largest with the cumulative FDI being USD 14 billion, India`s High Commissioner here T C A Raghavan said.