India-Singapore ties blossoming at all levels: PM LeeApril 5th, 2008 - 2:21 pm ICT by admin
Singapore, April 5 (IANS) Lauding India’s economic transformation over the past decade, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong has said his country will seek to further expand its bilateral ties and examine new areas of cooperation. “Our relationship is blossoming at all levels,” Lee told a gala dinner Friday night to mark the first day of the “Incredible India @ 60″ hosted jointly by the Indian government and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
India’s historic transformation to move ahead on a path of resilient, sustained growth had created new opportunities for the world and Singapore was fortunate to have the country as its neighbour.
The prime minister specifically cited the examples of Mittal Steel and Tata Motors as visible signs of how the Indian enterprise was integrating with the world economy.
He said some of the recent initiatives were already showing results, with trade growing at 20 percent thanks to the comprehensive economic partnership pact and more than 750,000 Indian tourists visiting the island nation last year.
To give a further push to the growing ties the foreign ministers of Singapore and India will meet later this month to oversee bilateral projects, he added.
Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, who led the large Indian delegation to the event, said after the “Incredible India @ 60″ campaign in New York last year, there could be no better place than Singapore to carry it forward.
The campaign, he said, was to celebrate India’s engagement with the world. India is now a big importer from the world and a huge market. It is also making large investments overseas and creating jobs, the Indian minister said.
“It is our way of saying ‘thank you’,” remarked India’s envoy to Singapore, S. Jaishankar, referring to Singapore emerging as a key global gateway for India and its role in encouraging India’s ‘look east’ policy.
The gala was rounded off by a fashion show unveiling the trendy yet traditional garments by Meera and Muzaffar Ali that began with wispy white cottons and ended with an ensemble of black saris and dresses with new-age prints and embroidery.
The two-day extravaganza will include folk dances representing all regions of India, live demos by craftsmen and a photo exhibition. The cultural aspect of the campaign will run for two days, and is open to the public.