Good time to elevate relationship with India

On Nov 24, I attended the India-Singapore Economic Convention at Marina Bay Sands, and was heartened to hear Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi speak highly of Singapore's success and its leaders ("India, S'pore look to grow ties with new partnership"; Nov 25).

I am heartened that India and Singapore are continuing to forge close ties and links at all levels.

Over the past 50 years, Singapore and India have developed a comprehensive relationship, rooted in strong historical and cultural ties, and bolstered by close and growing cooperation in various sectors.

This relationship has contributed to prosperity in our two countries, and stability and cooperation in our region.

Currently, Singapore-India relations are mainly focused along the more traditional lines of diplomatic, military and economic engagements.

Mr Modi wants to transform India with the same vision which Singapore has held all these years.

His visit to Singapore is an ideal occasion for us to elevate the bilateral relationship to a strategic partnership.

For Singapore, reaching out to a liberalising Indian economy is a strategy of seeking significant partners beyond its immediate neighbourhood.

For India, Singapore constitutes a bridgehead into Asean, and perhaps into East Asia.

As a Singaporean, I am proud of this strong testimony of Singapore-India relations.

V. Balu