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English Translation of Press Statement by Prime Minister during visit to Singapore

June 01, 2018

His Excellency,
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong,
Distinguished Delegates,
Member of Media,

First of all, I express my gratitude to Prime Minister Leefor his hospitality and harmony, for his persistent efforts towards strengthening relations with Indiaand also for our personal friendship.

India-Singapore relations fulfill the criterion of strategic partnership in the true sense. There is no uneasiness in our relationships, rather it has only warmth, harmony and faith. In our discussions today, Prime Minister Lee and I together reviewed progress in our bilateral relations and discussed the roadmap for the future.

I am especially happy about the completion of the second review of our Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement. But both of us agree that second review is not our destination, it is just a halt. Our executives will soon start discussions to upgrade and improve this agreement.

Singapore is an important source of foreign direct investment for India. And it is the top destination for India to make investments abroad.I am happy that Indian companies use Singapore as a spring-board for the ASEAN region and other countries. Investment by companies in Singapore to India is growing. India's progress provides unmatched opportunities to Singapore in its key areas. In the last evening’s round table with CEO’s of prominent Singapore companies, I was glad to see their faith in India.

Air traffic between India and Singapore is growing rapidly. Both sides will soon review the bilateral air services agreement.

We both are very pleased with the start of our digital partnership. It is an area of natural partnership with unlimited possibilities.International launch of a remittance app based on UPI,RuPay and BHIM in Singapore last evening reflects Digital India and our spirit of freshness in this partnership. Under Digital India, we will create a data center policy in India.

Today I will see many agreements being signed at theNanyang Technological University, which will further enhance our cooperation in higher education, science, technology and innovation. There has been good progress in our cooperation in the areas of Skill Development, Planning and Urban Development.

We have seen the introduction of new initiatives for water in 115 aspirational districts of India. The agreements that we have signed yesterday and today will take this cooperation to a new level. These will eventually benefit the youth of India including rural areas.

We have emphasized the importance of defence and security in our strategic partnership. We welcome the continuous increase in these relations.I congratulate the navies of India and Singapore on 25th anniversary of SIMBEX. Soon we will start the tripartite naval exercises too. Considering regularexercises and naval cooperation, I welcome the completion of a logistics agreement between the navies.

Combating cyber security, extremism and terrorism will be an important area of our cooperation in the coming days. We consider them to be among the biggest threats to our countries.

Prime Minister Lee and I shared our concerns on global and regional challenges. We both have reaffirmed our principled views on maritime security and highlighted our commitment to a Rules Based Order.

We have also agreed on the need to maintain open, stable and fair international trade regime.

I have also emphasized the importance of ASEAN unity, its centrality and regional sustainability, through the institutions led by ASEAN. I also conveyed India's firm commitment to an early conclusion of the RCEP Agreement and hoped for a fair, balanced and comprehensive agreement.

In the Shangri La Dialogue of today evening, I want to express India's perspective on peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region. I wouldlike to thank Prime Minister Lee for inviting me to the Shangri-La Dialogue.

I conveyed my best wishes to Prime Minister Lee and his whole team for successful transition of the leadership. I know that the new leaders of Singapore will continue with their glorious legacy. And will take this great country forward with the same spirit and tradition of serving the people.

Thank You.
Many many thanks.

Disclaimer: PM’s press statement was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of his press statement.

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