India keen on Singapore’s help in urban development

July 02, 2014 - 12:22:49 am
Singapore’s Minister for Foreign Affairs and Minister for Law, K Shanmugam with Minister for External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj in New Delhi yesterday.

New Delhi:  India and Singapore yesterday discussed ways to boost economic cooperation, with New Delhi keen to gain from Singapore’s expertise in urban development projects for the proposed ‘smart cities’ along the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC).

Singapore’s Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam yesterday met External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj with the two countries exchanging views on the recent report on riots in Little India in Singapore.

Sushma Swaraj accepted an invitation to travel to Singapore to flag off the year-long celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of diplomatic relations from August 16. A “world class skill centre” will also be inaugurated in India as part of the celebrations.

External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told media here that Singapore was the largest source of foreign direct investment flow to India in 2013 and economic ties between the two countries were “robust”.

He said the two sides discussed possibility of investment from Singapore in infrastructure along the DMIC.

Akbaruddin said Singapore benchmarked itself against the global best practices in urban development projects and India can gain from its experience and expertise in its projects for urban renewal and smart cities.

There is a proposal for eight smart cities along the DMIC and Indian and Singapore companies can work together, he said.

He said the release of stamps, publications and more people-to-people contacts would mark the celebrations for the 50 years of diplomatic ties.

“There is a proposal to have state visit exchange between the two countries,” he said.

Akbaruddin said Singapore plans to have year-long celebrations, with a month focused on each aspect of the country’s relationship with India.

Answering queries on the skill centre, Akbaruddin said Singapore “has very good experience of this”.

He said the two sides exchanged views on incidents in Little India.