Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today received Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) of Singapore Mr. Goh Chok Tong. ESM Goh was accompanied by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Office and Second Minister for Home Affairs and Trade and Industry S Iswaran and Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee.
The Prime Minister recalled his long personal association with ESM Goh and ESM’s special contribution to the development of bilateral relations. ESM Goh congratulated the Prime Minister on his emphatic victory in the elections and for presenting an ambitious vision of India’s economic and social transformation. He encouraged the Prime Minister to work towards developing India as a Global Manufacturer through a combination of skill development, standard setting and access to the global market. In this context, he called upon India to engage more proactively with the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership initiative. He also emphasized that a prosperous India was critical for the peace and prosperity of the entire Asian region.
The Prime Minister apprised ESM Goh of the various initiatives being taken by the Government for development of smart cities and urban centres; improving the ease of doing business; and cleaning of rivers. Prime Minister said that India’s strength in terms of 3Ds – Demographic Dividend, Democracy and Demand (large domestic market) – would enable it to emerge as a Global Manufacturer. However, for implementation of these initiatives, it would be essential to enter into partnerships with the international community to access the necessary funding and expertise. In this context, the Prime Minister conveyed India’s keen desire to partner with Singapore. ESM suggested that both sides should work for entering into a strategic economic partnership.
ESM Goh extended an invitation to the Prime Minister to visit Singapore. The Prime Minister said that he looked forward to visiting Singapore at the earliest convenience. Both sides also look forward to an exchange of visits by the Presidents of India and Singapore as part of Golden Jubilee celebrations.