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International News
India, Singapore to explore new areas of cooperation during Modi visit
 
Singapore, Apr 6 (PTI) India and Singapore will explore areas of further cooperation and take stock of progress of their strategic partnership during Prime Minister Narendra Modi's June visit here.

"It would be a good opportunity for both sides to take stock of the progress that we have made in different pillars of our strategic partnership, and explore areas for further cooperation," Singaporean Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) Ong Ye Kung said today.

"Next, we can collaborate to develop our technology and innovation ecosystems. Technology is changing the way we work, and how services are delivered and consumed," said Ong, noting that "India has embraced this wave of change".

Addressing the 12th International Conference on South Asia here, the minister highlighted India's achievement along with technology, such as Jan Dhan Yojana programme, Aadhaar and India Stack.

Financial technology, Ong said, has accelerated the digitisation of financial services in India.

"So in India, we have found a kindred spirit, because fintech is also a key activity Singapore is promoting.

"India has a vast market, and in Singapore, we have almost every global financial institution operating here, and they are interested in investing in and serving the Indian market. So there is a clear synergy between us," he stressed.

Singapore, the minister said, is watching significant developments in India closely, such as the introduction of goods and services tax, adding "finally, India is a one single market".

Demonetisation has boosted digital payments in India while initiatives such as Make in India, Skill India and Start-Up India are aimed at facilitating job creation and inclusive growth, he added.

"Our economic relationship with India is healthy and growing," Ong said underlining the two countries' bilateral ties.

India is part of ongoing negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement together with ASEAN, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand, he said.

Sounding optimistic on the region, Ong said "So long as China and India, East Asia and South Asia remain stable and continue to grow, the entire thoroughfare of Southeast Asia, including Singapore, will stand to benefit".

"But we need to work hard, be of service to others, be innovative, and add value wherever we can," he said.

The annual conference was organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies, a think tank of the National University of Singapore.


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