SINGAPORE: Singapore and India are looking to explore further areas of collaborations. During a meeting in Singapore on Saturday (Aug 16), Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam and India’s External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj directed their officials to identify concrete projects in five local areas of cooperation.
This includes scaling up investments and trade, speeding up air and maritime connectivity and coastal development, smart city development and urban rejuvenation (including water and waste management), skills development and capacity building,
and state focus to strengthen business and cultural links, according to Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA).
MFA said the leaders noted that some preliminary work had already been carried out by officials from both sides, and study visits are planned in the coming months. They also agreed to update their respective prime ministers on the progress made in the areas of cooperation.
MFA said the ministers also underscored the importance of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), signed a decade ago in June 2005, as the cornerstone of the intensifying state of economic relations between the two countries. The ministers expressed hope that negotiations for the Second Review of the CECA would be completed expeditiously, which would send a positive signal to the business community.
Mrs Swaraj is in Singapore for a visit from August 15-16, at the invitation of Mr Shanmugam who visited India last month.
Next year marks the 50th anniversary of Singapore-India ties, and MFA said both ministers agreed the main highlight of the
anniversary celebrations will be the exchange of State visits by Singapore’s President Tony Tan to India and India’s President Pranab Mukherjee to Singapore in 2015. The celebrations will also feature a “Festival of Singapore” in India and the “Year of India” in Singapore, said MFA.