New Delhi: India is an “investment-friendly” country, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today assured his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong who had earlier complained of “complicated” Indian business environment for investors who want policy stability.
India and Singapore also inked three pacts, including one in the field of defence and security after the comprehensive and “fruitful” discussions on international, regional and bilateral issues between the two prime ministers.
Noting that Singapore was not only India’s foremost trading partner in Asean but also a major sources of FDI inflows, Singh said, “We agreed to expedite the conclusion of the ongoing second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement that would further facilitate trade in goods and services and investment.”
“In this context, I assured Prime Minister Lee of India’s commitment to reinforce its status as as investment-friendly country and expressed my hope that Singapore companies would look at India as a valued investment destination in the current scenario,” Singh said at a joint press event.
Earlier, during a meeting, organised by the business chambers here, Lee said, “I think India’s environment is complicated.”
The Singapore prime minister, who is on a three-day visit to India, also said when investors take a decision they want stability and “they want to have reliable partner. They look at the prospect and possibilities. That’s the way all businesses happen”. He was answering a question on how to improve business climate in India.
The pact on Cooperation in Vocational Education and Skills Development to provide the framework for cooperation in the field, MoU to renew the bilateral arrangement between the air forces on joint training and exercises and the deal to facilitate the setting up of a Greenfield World Class Skills Development Centre (WCSDC) in Delhi to provide state-of-the-art facility for skills development were the three pacts inked between India and Singapore.
Once operational, the WCSDC will train 15,000 annually in various fields, including manufacturing and merchandising, Lee said.
“Prime Minister Lee and I have decided to step up bilateral cooperation and exchanges in the fields of defence and security,” Singh said while referring to the MoU in this field.
Singapore and India share values of democracy, pluralism and secularism and this gives both the countries convergent perspectives on many regional and international developments, the Prime Minister said, adding the two countries also work closely in a number of regional mechanisms, such as East Asia Summit, Asean and the Asean Regional Forum.
“We share similar views on building an open and inclusive architecture of regional cooperation in Asia, which enhances trust and confidence. We discussed the global economic situation and agreed on the need for more concerted international action,” Singh added.