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India, Singapore to set up Finance Dialogue

Prime Minister Narendra Modi with Singapore counterpart

New Delhi : India and Singapore today decided to set up a Finance Dialogue, to be co-chaired by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam of Singapore, to further strengthen bilateral trade and economic ties.

After comprehensive talks with his Indian counterpart Prime Minister Narendra Modi here, Lee Hsien Loong said the two sides discussed furthering Singapore and India’s strong economic ties, for instance, by setting up a Finance Dialogue between the finance ministries of the two countries.

On the Singapore side, Shanmugaratnam will be appointed for the task and India will appoint Jaitley to find “win-win outcomes” for both countries, Lee added.

The two-way trade between the two countries declined to USD 15.02 billion in 2015-16 from USD 16.93 billion in the previous financial year.

However, Singapore is the second largest source of foreign direct investment in India. The total FDI from Singapore to India has totalled USD 45.88 billion (April 2000 to March 2016) or 16 per cent of the inflows during the period.

In the last financial year, the FDI inflows totalled USD 13.69 billion.

Modi said that last year the bilateral ties were upgraded to the level of a Strategic Partnership with “renewed spirit, new energy” with an aim to deliver benefits to people of the two countries and to “combine the strengths of Singapore with the scale of India and dynamism of Singapore with vibrancy of our states”.

On his part Lee said, “Singapore remains a firm believer in India and we will continue to contribute, where we can, to India’s remarkable development story.”

“Singapore is happy to support India’s efforts to transform its economy, and to give India’s youth the skills they need,” Lee said, adding that his country was one of India’s largest sources of foreign direct investment in 2015, and more than 8,000 Indian companies are present in Singapore.

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