SINGAPORE: External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar on Tuesday met Singapore Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat and the two leaders discussed new avenues of relationship through the opportunities provided by “New India.”
Jaishankar, who is on a visit to Singapore, was accompanied by Minister of State for Civil Aviation Hardeep S Puri during his meeting with Keat, who is also Singapore’s finance minister.
“Cordial meeting with Deputy PM & Finance Minister @MOFsg Heng Swee Keat along with Minister @HardeepSPuri. Discussed refreshing the India-Singapore agenda by exploring opportunities provided by New India,” Jaishankar tweeted.
Jaishankar also had a meeting with Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.
“A meeting of minds with Defence Minister @Ng_Eng_Hen. Benefitted from his insights and assessments as always,” he tweeted.
On Monday, Jaishankar called on Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and discussed with him bilateral ties and the issues concerning the world.
He also co-chaired the 6th Joint Ministerial Commission with his Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan and reviewed the whole range of bilateral issues.
He also had good interaction with Minister for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing on scaling up trade and investment.
During his visit, Jaishankar also attended the India-Singapore Business & Innovation Summit and expressed India’s reservations on joining the proposed mega free trade agreement RCEP as it is concerned over the “protectionist policies” of China that have created a significant trade deficit between the two nations, as high as USD 57 billion in 2018.
The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) is a proposed mega free trade agreement being negotiated among 16 countries including 10-nation ASEAN bloc (Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam) and its six trading partners—India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand. (AGENCIES)