India, Singapore look to start “next phase” of economic ties
The Dollar Business Bureau
India and Singapore look to strengthen their partnership in the areas of infrastructure financing, railways and smart cities development, as they envisage to make progress in the “next phase of economic partnership”.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong is currently on a five-day visit to India. He will hold bilateral talks with Prime Minister Narendra Modi and explore ways to strengthen bilateral trade and investment ties between the two decade-old neighbours.
The two countries have enjoyed steadfast bilateral relations for over five decades. Their relations have been given a fillip after the introduction of Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), a free-trade agreement encouraging economic and trade activities.
“Both sides have been working hard. The objective is really to create a high quality agreement that will be a gateway or the next phase of economic partnership between the two countries. I think there has been substantial progress,” Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran told PTI in response to the status of CECA negotiations.
The two nations are currently reviewing the CECA to encourage more development projects and international investments through Singapore into India. The two prime ministers are expected to discuss the CECA during their bilateral talks.
Singapore is already India’s second largest investor, particularly in its power and port sectors.
Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu said India could utilise Singapore’s expertise in the development of railway stations, smart cities, financing for infrastructure and rainwater harvesting. Prabhu also said India was looking forward to enhancing connectivity with neighbouring countries like Bangladesh and Myanmar as it looked to expand the freight corridor network.