DPM Wong to attend inaugural roundtable between Singapore and India

This is Mr Lawrence Wong's first visit to India as deputy prime minister. ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

SINGAPORE - Singapore and India will initiate a new high-level meeting on Saturday, at the start of Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Lawrence Wong's five-day work trip to India.

The inaugural India-Singapore Ministerial Roundtable (ISMR) will take place in New Delhi, with the goal of identifying new and emerging opportunities for Singapore and India to collaborate on while deepening existing cooperation, the Prime Minister's Office said on Friday.

DPM Wong, who is also Finance Minister, will be joined at the meeting by Minister for Foreign Affairs Vivian Balakrishnan, Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong, and Minister for Transport and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran.

India will be represented by its Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar, and Commerce and Industry, Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution and Textiles Minister Piyush Goyal.

Key areas of discussion at the new high-level platform include the digital economy and finance, skills development, and sustainability.

DPM Wong will then travel to the west Indian state of Gujarat on Sunday, where he will meet Gujarat Chief Minister Bhupendra Patel and visit Gujarat International Finance Tec-City.

Singapore and India share strong and broad-based economic relations, with bilateral trade in goods reaching $26.8 billion in 2021.

Among the key pillars of Singapore-India relations is economic and financial cooperation. Work to link the two countries' real-time payments systems began in 2021, and is expected to be completed in November.

When implemented, fund transfers can be made from India to Singapore using mobile phone numbers, and from Singapore to India using the latter's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) virtual payment addresses.

This year marks the 30th anniversary of Asean-India dialogue relations, and Singapore is the current country coordinator for Asean-India dialogue relations.

Singapore has also been extended an invite by India to attend the 2023 Group of 20 (G20) Leaders' Summit, which will take place in New Delhi from Sept 9 to 10 next year.

This is Mr Wong's first visit to India as DPM. His last trip was in 2018 when he gave a speech at a summit on the global economy in New Delhi.

Mr Wong will be accompanied on the trip by officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Finance.

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