SM Tharman meets Indian PM Narendra Modi, says Singapore firms optimistic about prospects

Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam calls on India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Jan 6, 2020. PHOTO: PRMIE MINISTER'S OFFICE INDIA

SINGAPORE - Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam has said that Singapore and its companies are optimistic about their prospects in India, and that the two countries are exploring possibilities for deeper collaboration, including on digital trade information.

Mr Tharman, who is also Coordinating Minister for Social Policies, is on a working visit to India and called on India's Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi on Monday (Jan 6).

In a statement on their meeting, India's Prime Minister's Office (PMO) said they expressed satisfaction at the rapid pace ofbilateral relations.

They also discussed several matters of mutual interest in the sphere of economic cooperation, including infrastructure, skills, the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, and the digital economy.

Mr Modi also expressed his desire to strengthen further cooperation between India and Singapore in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, digital payment systems, innovation and governance, India's PMO added.

Said Mr Tharman: "PM Modi and I had a good discussion on India's economic and social strategies to ensure sustained growth and inclusivity in the years to come."

"The Modi Government has made huge strides in social transformation, particularly through sanitation, electrification of villages, bank accounts for all, and health insurance. This will be coupled with further reforms in economic transformation, particularly to ensure job growth for India's young population," he added.

"Singapore and our companies are optimistic about India's long term prospects.We are growing investments in India, including in technology parks and logistics. We are also deepening collaboration in the digital economy, including linking up our payment systems and national single window platforms for trade."

Mr Tharman will deliver a lecture at the Reserve Bank of India in Mumbai on Tuesday (Jan 7). He is also scheduled to call on Maharashtra Chief Minister Uddhav Thackeray, and meet business leaders.

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