Presidents of India and Singapore will be making state visits each others’ countries next year to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations.
“Our presidents are going to visit each other,” he announced.
He said the year-long celebration would also include a Singapore festival in India and an Indian festival in Singapore.
Shanmugam announced this today after co-chairing the Third Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) Meeting with the Indian External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
“We obviously has a 50th anniversary which is not far away. We want to use that as an important milestone and to be able to look back and see how much we have achieved. And at the same time to celebrate and tell the world what an important this relationship is,” said Khurshid.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, the two ministers described the India-Singapore relations as excellent.
Shanmugam said the meeting agreed to explore further areas of cooperation including Singapore-based companies participation in the large infrastructure projects in India, including the Delhi-Mumbai Corridor project.
The JMC meeting, held annually, reviews the state of bilateral relations between Singapore and India and explore new areas of cooperation.
Meanwhile, Khurshid said experts would meet soon to complete the ongoing review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
“We would like our experts to meet again quickly,” Khurshid told reporters.
He said: “We don’t see any substantial impediment to complete the review.”
The CECA review among others was aiming to increase the number of banking licences issued to banks from the two respective countries.
Khurshid also highlighted the importance of Singapore to India, saying Indian technology combinations with the city state’s management techniques could be mutually beneficial.