Lee Kuan Yew on India visit
Ahead of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Singapore next month, the city state's Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew is currently in India on a five-day visit during which he will meet with Singh and United Progressive Alliance (UPA) chairperson Sonia Gandhi.
Lee, who was the first prime minister of Singapore for 31 years from 1959, arrived in Mumbai on Sunday night for a weeklong visit.
After interactions with captains of industry, Lee will be meeting the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Governor YV Reddy and Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh.
In New Delhi, his official engagements begin on Wednesday at a meeting with business leaders organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII). He is also scheduled to meet the prime minister, External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee and chairperson of the ruling United Progressive Alliance Sonia Gandhi.
Singapore's Minister of State for Education and Manpower Gan Kim Yong, Minister of State for National Development Grace Fu and other senior officials are accompanying Lee.
Singapore is a key component of India's Look East policy. It is not only the largest trading partner for India in South-East Asia, but also figures in the list of top 10 investors in the country. With the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement in 2005, trade volume had increased phenomenally and touched $20 billion in 2006.
The city-state has also been important for India's plans for deeper forays into the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) economy, having supported India's membership of Asean Regional Forum and the East Asia summit.
Singapore has also supported India's participation in the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Working Groups.
The prime minister will go to Singapore on November 20, where he will attend the 13th Asean summit.