President Tony Tan makes state visit to India

SINGAPORE - President Tony Tan Keng Yam will make a four-day visit to India this week to commemorate the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

He will arrive in New Delhi on Sunday evening for his first state visit there, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a statement.

While in New Delhi, Dr Tan will meet with counterpart President Pranab Mukherjee, as well as Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He will also have meetings with other top Indian officials.

During his trip, Dr Tan will inaugurate the opening of a Peranakan exhibition in the Indian capital that features artifacts from the Asian Civilisations Museum and Peranakan Museum in Singapore, and launch a Singapore-India commemorative book.

Published by the Institute of South Asian Studies, the book chronicles how Singapore-India ties have evolved and grown. He will also meet the Singaporean community in New Delhi for dinner.

The president will be accompanied by his wife Mary, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office and Second Minister for Foreign Affairs, Environment and Water Resources Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth Lawrence Wong, Parliamentary Secretary for Health and Transport Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim and MP Vikram Nair.

In conjunction with the visit, Mrs Tan will be presenting a donation of 300 Singapore-themed books to the National Library of India. The donation is part of Singapore's National Library Board's SG50 Gift of Books project.

Economic ties between the two countries are strong: last year, Singapore was India's largest foreign investor with US$6 billion worth of direct investment, while India was one of the Republic's major trading partners.

In Dr Tan's absence, Chairman of the Council of the Presidential Advisers J. Y. Pillay will exercise the functions of the office of the President until Wednesday.