Singapore: Describing India as a "bright spot" in the backdrop of gloomy economic outlook globally, a senior Singaporean minister has said the country was projected to be the world's fasted growing economy and Singapore's close economic cooperation with it would be mutually beneficial.
Noting Prime Minister Narendra Modi's various economic initiatives and reforms to further boost developments in the country, S Iswaran, Minister of Trade and Industry said "against the backdrop of somewhat gloomy economic outlook globally, India remains a bright spot."
"India is projected to the be world's fastest growing major economy this year. It was the world's top FDI (Foreign Direct Investment) destination in the first half of 2015 with USD 31 billion greenfield investment," said Iswaran at the Republic Day reception hosted by the Indian High Commissioner Vijay Thakur Singh.
Iswaran also highlighted India-Singapore strategic partnership, which elevated the diplomatic relations between the two countries last year, saying it "will allow our two countries to collaborate on a wide range of initiatives and also on opportunities that arise from India's and Asia's growth story."
"Importantly it offers a roadmap of deliverables that would further strengthen our economic links between our two countries. It starts from a strong base, bilateral trade doubling in the past 10 years from SGD 11.8 billion in 2005 to SGD 22.5 billion in 2015," Iswaran said.
He highlighted Singapore's keen interest in India, and shared last year's business milestones with a joint venture airline between Singapore Airlines and Tata Sons, the start of container terminal development in Mumbai by Port of Singapore Authority and completion of a coal-fired power plant in Andhra Pradesh by the city state's Sembcorp group.
"In the area of urban planning, we have worked closely with the government of Andhra Pradesh to masterplan Amaravati, the new greenfield capacity city of the state, and our companies hope to further contribute towards it development," he said.
The minister said that Singapore is also going to share experience in education, in particular skills development with
various Indian states.
"Beyond business and trade, this strategic partnership encompasses initiatives to enhance cultural interaction, education and sharing of our experiences," said the Minister.
"India and Singapore share a close friendship and warm affinity at all levels between our people, between our business community and certainly between our leaders," Iswaran told an audience of 1,000 diplomats, business and community leaders at the reception.