India is very keen to partner with Singapore for development of its cities and cleaning of rivers, Prime Minister Narendra Modi told the visiting Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) of Singapore Goh Chok Tong on 10 September.
Modi received Tong and his delegation in New Delhi and recalled his long personal association with Tong and ESM's special contribution to the development of bilateral relations.
Tong was accompanied by Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S Iswaran and Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.
Tong congratulated Modi on his resounding victory in the elections and for presenting an ambitious vision of India's economic and social transformation.
Tong encouraged Modi to work towards developing India as a global manufacturer through a combination of skill development, standard setting and access to the global market. In this context, he called upon India to engage more proactively with the regional comprehensive economic partnership initiative. He also emphasized that a prosperous India was critical for the peace and prosperity of the entire Asian region.
The Prime Minister explained to Tong the various initiatives being taken by the Indian government for development of smart cities and urban centres and easing the process of doing business with India.
Modi said that India's strength in terms of 3Ds – Demographic Dividend, Democracy and Demand (India's large domestic market) – would enable it to emerge as a global manufacturer.
However, for implementation of these initiatives, it would be essential to enter into partnerships with the international community to access the necessary funding and expertise, a communication from the Prime Minister's office stated. In turn, Tong told Modi that both India and Singapore should work for entering into a strategic economic partnership.
ESM Goh extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Singapore and Modi said that he looked forward to visiting Singapore at the earliest convenience. Both sides also look forward to an exchange of visits by the Presidents of India and Singapore.