India keen on Singapore’s help in urban development
India and Singapore 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 Tuesday 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 Aug 16. A “world class skill centre” will also be inaugurated in India as part of the celebrations.
External affairs ministry spokesperson Syed Akbaruddin told mediapersons 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.
Riots erupted in Little India Dec 8 when a private bus knocked down and killed an Indian construction worker.
About 400 people attacked the bus as well as police and rescue vehicles. The violence lasted almost two hours before riot police brought the situation under control. In all, 25 Indians, working in Singapore, were charged with rioting.