The inaugural India-Singapore Ministerial Roundtable (ISMR) meeting, led on the Singapore side by Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and which included the ministers for foreign affairs, trade and industry, and transport, has added impetus and high-level commitment to an important bilateral relationship that has always enjoyed good levels of engagement - but also required regular nurturing. The event was especially significant as this is Mr Wong's first work trip to India since his appointment as Deputy Prime Minister. The five-day visit ending on Wednesday and which included a call on Prime Minister Narendra Modi has enabled him to get a first-hand look at the country and its leadership.
Singapore's longstanding ties with India have been nurtured by its three post-independence leaders, and Mr Wong as leader of the fourth-generation team has continued with the tradition of maintaining close high-level contact. But inter-personal ties aside, the ISMR's structured approach will help to deepen the existing levels of cooperation and identify opportunities for mutually beneficial collaboration in new and emerging areas amid a world in deep flux. This is important since India is now the fifth-largest economy behind the United States, China, Japan and Germany, and has ambitions to be a key node in the global supply chain amid the widening geopolitical cleavage between the West and China.