India-Singapore hold Joint Ministerial meet, strengthen ties

RSTV Bureau
Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan being welcomed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi. Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan being welcomed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi. Photo Courtesy: Twitter/@MEAIndia

Singaporean Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who arrived in New Delhi on Tuesday afternoon, met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj and co-chaired the 5th Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) to strengthen bilateral ties between the two nations.

The India-Singapore JMC reviewed the state of bilateral relations and discuss new areas of cooperation.

Balakrishnan is likely to call on Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi late on Tuesday and visit Guwahati on November 1.

New Delhi and Singapore share close ties which have a history rooted in strong commercial, cultural and people-to-people links, with India being one of the first countries to recognize Singapore in 1965.

India is currently Singapore’s 10th largest trading partner with a share of 2.55 percent in Singapore’s overall global trade of $631.5 billion in 2015.

Balakrishnan is also scheduled to address a symposium on ‘India, Singapore & ASEAN: Shared History, Common Future’.

Some of the issues slated to be discussed are India’s importance and role in the region, and ways in which Singapore can continue to catalyse greater Indian engagement with the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN), said the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), a think tank at the National University of Singapore.

In Guwahati, Balakrishnan and Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal will sign agreements to kick-start project implementation for the North East Skills Centre (NESC) in Guwahati.

The NESC is Singapore’s third skills centre in India and will contribute to the development of the northeast.

Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu and Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will visit Singapore mid-November.

(With inputs from agencies)