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Singapore is Positive About India’s Future in the Long-Term

Tharman Shanmugaratnam and Narendra Modi
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Singapore is looking to India for future opportunities for growing business ventures in technology there. Senior Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam met up with India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday, Jan 6, as part of a working visit from 5 to 8 January, to New Delhi and Mumbai, where he will meet Indian government officials and business leaders.

Their discussion touched on various areas in economic cooperation, such as infrastructure, skills, India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), and the digital economy.

Mr Tharman had said that Singapore firms are increasing their investments in India, in areas such as technology parks and logistics.

He also said that there is a “deepening collaboration in the digital economy”, which sees the connecting of payment systems and national single window platforms for trade.

In a statement released from Mr Modi’s office, it was stated that both parties are content that Singapore and India continue to have a “rapid pace of bilateral relations”.

It also stated that Mr Modi shared that he looks forward to strengthening cooperation between India and Singapore in the areas of infrastructure, tourism, digital payment systems, innovation and governance.

“PM Modi and I had a good discussion on India’s economic and social strategies to ensure sustained growth and inclusivity in the years to come,” said Mr Tharman.

He added that further changes in economic transformation, especially for boosting job growth for India’s young population can be expected.

During Mr Modi’s term, the Indian government has made several improvements in the lives of the Indian people. Changes such as social transformation in areas such as sanitation, electrification of villages, bank accounts for everyone and health insurance were some of the improvements brought upon.

Singapore and India have been working together on efforts for driving technology and innovation within both countries. In October, last year, OpenGov had reported on the second Singapore-India Hackathon, which was done in collaboration between the Indian Institute for Technology in Madras (IIT-Madras), and the Nanyang Technical University, Singapore (NTU).

The themes of the hackathon were good health and well-being; quality education; and affordable and clean energy.

At the prize distribution ceremony, the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the role of innovation and start-ups will be crucial to help achieve India’s goal to become a US $5 trillion economy.

India is already among the top three start-up friendly ecosystems. During the last five years, it has prioritised innovation and incubations. Programmes like Atal Innovation Mission, the PM research fellowship, and the Startup India initiative are the foundation of 21st century India, he said.

The country is trying to promote modern technologies like machine learning, artificial intelligence, and blockchain among students from as early as the sixth grade to create an ecosystem that becomes a medium for innovation, the Minister added.

He noted the country is encouraging innovation for two reasons. “One is we want easy solutions to solve India’s problems to make life easier. And another we in India want to find solutions for the whole world. India solutions for global application, this is our goal and our commitment,” he said.


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