Indian and Singapore are actively engaged in promoting the Act East policy, said New Delhi’s envoy to Singapore, Jawed Ashraf.
“There is a great deal of anticipation and expectations on what Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision is about the Indo-Pacific region,” Ashraf told ANI in an interview.
“We have strong bilateral relationships and a productive, meaningful partnership in the international platform. Singapore is really a springboard, a gateway to South East Asia. It is also a very important defence partner of India. We have the longest running uninterrupted naval exercises and we train together every year, across the three wings of the armed forces,” said Ashraf.
The four pillars of the India-Singapore partnership are strategic, economic, innovation and technology, human and cultural links, he added.
India and Singapore are also working in areas like humanitarian assistance in disaster relief, keeping the seas safe, and boosting tourism.
“Singapore is the biggest destination for Indian investments overseas. Nearly 22% of Indian investments come to Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Furthermore, 1.3 million Indian tourists come to Singapore. It’s the first country we have signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with,” High Commissioner Ashraf said.
In Singapore, Prime Minister Modi is scheduled to visit the Indian Heritage Centre in Little India, where he will launch a permanent platform to bring Indian artisans, craftsmen to showcase their crafts to support rural livelihood. Furthermore, he will be launching schemes like Bheem, RuPay, which is a new Domestic Card Payment Scheme, to take Digital India to a new level.
Eight agreements in collaboration with the Nanyang Technological University (NTU) would be signed for higher education, technology and research work during the Prime Minister’s visit.
On the other hand, Singapore is working with India to develop Andhra Pradesh’s capital Amaravati and some parts of Pune.
Ashraf said he expected initiatives, launches and announcements during Prime Minister Modi’s visit, which would take this partnership to a new level.
Prime Minister Modi is currently on a three-nation tour to Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
The aim of the visit is to enhance India’s relations and engagements with all the three countries, who are the members of the ASEAN.