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HindustanTimes Thu,30 Oct 2014

Swaraj arrives in Singapore to bolster ties

PTI  Singapore, August 15, 2014
First Published: 21:20 IST(15/8/2014) | Last Updated: 21:25 IST(15/8/2014)

External affairs minister Sushma Swaraj arrived in Singapore on Friday on a two-day visit during which she will hold talks with the top leadership of Singapore including the Prime Minister to explore ways to further enhance cooperation in a range of areas such as trade and investment, water conservation and infrastructure development.

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During her stay, Swaraj will hold talks with her counterpart K Shanmugam apart from flagging off year-long celebration to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two nations and meetings with think-tanks and the vibrant Indian diaspora.

The external affairs minister will also call on Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien.

Swaraj's visit is aimed at exploring the possibility of Singapore's involvement in major Indian infrastructure projects including the Smart City project and also whether it can participate in rejuvenation of other Indian cities.

In the budget the new Indian government had proposed to develop 100 'smart cities' as satellite towns of larger cities and allocated Rs. 7,060 crore for the ambitious project.

Singapore is India's largest trading partner in the ASEAN grouping. It is also the source of highest FDI to India which was $5.9 billion last year.

Singapore is also the destination of highest Indian investments abroad during the last decade. It houses 4,000-4,500 Indian companies who have offices here.

Swaraj's visit will be followed by that of West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee, Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje, Telengana chief minister K Chandrashekar Rao and Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu later this month.


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