21 Feb 2023- Singapore : India’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Mr. V. Muraleedharan, made an official visit to Singapore where he met with his Singaporean counterpart and various representatives of the Indian communities in Singapore. The visit was aimed at strengthening the bilateral ties between India and Singapore and exploring new areas of cooperation.
During the visit, Mr. Muraleedharan held talks with Singapore’s Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Dr. Mohamad Maliki Osman, to discuss a range of issues, including economic cooperation, trade, and investment. The two ministers reiterated the strong relationship between India and Singapore, and expressed their commitment to enhancing their co-operation in various fields. With the growing importance of the Asia-Pacific region in the world, the relationship between India and Singapore is poised to play an increasingly significant role in shaping the future of the region.
Mr. Muraleedharan’s visit also included meetings with various representatives of Indian communities in Singapore. He interacted with members of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, the Singapore Indian Association, among others. During these interactions, Mr. Muraleedharan highlighted the importance of the Indian diaspora in promoting India’s cultural and economic interests abroad. He also reiterated the government’s commitment to the welfare of overseas Indians and the need to strengthen people-to-people ties between India and Singapore.
In response to a question, Mr. Muraleedharan said that India’s foreign policy is guided by the philosophy of “vasudaiva kudumbakam,” which means that the world is one family. He emphasized that India’s foreign policy is based on the principles of peace, friendship, and cooperation with all nations, and that India is committed to playing a constructive role in the international community.
Responding to a question during a meeting with the diaspora in Singapore, Muraleedharan agreed that Indians living abroad should be able to participate in the electoral process..However he said, “it is ultimately to be decided by the Election Commission.”
Mr. Muraleedharan also underscored the government’s efforts to enhance India’s standing on the global stage under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. He highlighted the government’s initiatives to boost economic growth and attract foreign investment.
Mr. Muraleedharan’s visit to Singapore comes at a time when India is seeking to strengthen its ties with Southeast Asia, and Singapore is a key partner in India’s “Act East” policy, which seeks to strengthen India’s engagement with Southeast Asia and the Asia-Pacific region.
The two countries have a strong economic relationship, with bilateral trade amounting to over $30 billion in 2022. Singapore is also a major source of foreign investment in India accounting to around 23 percent of the total FDI inflows. Indian companies have invested heavily in Singapore as well, with a total export figure touching nearly $12 billion in 2022. In addition, the two countries have a shared history and culture, with a large Indian diaspora in Singapore. The Indian community in Singapore has made significant contributions to the country’s development, and is an important link between India and Singapore.
Overall, Mr. Muraleedharan’s visit to Singapore was an important step in strengthening the ties and contribute to the stability and prosperity of the region as a whole. The discussions with his Singaporean counterpart and interactions with the Indian community in Singapore have further cemented the strong relationship between India and Singapore, and laid the groundwork for even closer cooperation in the future.
He noted the desire of Indian citizens working overseas to participate in the elections and be part of the India growth story.