India, Singapore to further deepen defence, economic ties

RSTV Bureau
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong, June 1, 2018

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong, June 1, 2018

India and Singapore signed MoUs in the sphere of defence, maritime security, IT and combating illicit trafficking of narcotics as Prime Minister Narendra Modi held extensive talks with the top leadership of Singapore.

Modi arrived in Singapore on Thursday as a part of 3-nation visit aimed at strengthening India’s Act East doctrine. On Friday, he held talks with his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and also called on Singapore President Halimah Yacob.

“Both the nations have assured each other of continued cooperation in maritime security and rules based order… I welcome the completion of logistics agreement between the two sides on training and naval support,” Prime Minister Modi in a joint presser with Lee Hsien.

We have also reiterated the need and sustenance of free, stable and just international trade regime, Modi added in his joint presser stressing on the crucial trade ties between the two.

“We have been able to conclude successfully the second review of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement but we agreed this is not just our target and goal but this only means to an end,” Modi said.

Stressing on the close defence cooperation between the two countries, the Prime Minister said, “In the coming times, dealing with cyber security and extremism and terrorism will be important areas of our cooperation”.

On his part, Lee said the bilateral defence ties have grown stronger. “Our defence ties have strengthened, our navies have signed an agreement today on logistics cooperation and will also celebrate 25th anniversary of annual Singapore-India maritime bilateral exercise this year,” Lee said.

Singapore has always been a source of foreign direct investment for India and also investments in foreign countries, Modi added calling Singapore a favourite destination for Indian investments abroad. Recalling his meeting with CEOs on Thursday, PM Modi said he was happy to see that top executives of many important companies looking at India with confidence.

The international launch of RuPay, BHIM and UPI based remittance app in Singapore yesterday represented Digital India initiative and the renewed partnership between the two sides, the Prime Minister said.

Lee said Indian tourists will be able to use their RuPay cards for electronic payments at Changi airport and selected operators across Singapore.

Prime Minister Modi also presented his Lee Hsien Loong a replica of 6th century Buddhagupta Stele bearing Sanskrit phrases, which symbolises the transmission of Buddhism from India to Southeast Asia.

While the original Buddhagupta Stele is currently housed at the Indian Museum, Kolkata, Ministry of Culture had made the special replica in association with the Indian Museum in Kolkata.

It bears Sanskrit phrases in Pallava script and serves as an important evidence of the transmission of Buddhism from India to Southeast Asia, particularly the Straits and the Malay peninsular region.

It was discovered by Lt. Col. James Low of the East India Company in Bujang Valley, Kedah, in 1834, in association with brick and laterite ruins of what was assumed to be a Buddhist monument.

PM Modi is in Singapore on the last leg of his three-nation tour. He earlier visited Indonesia and Malaysia.

(With inputs from Agencies)