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Modi in Singapore: India, Singapore signed pact for strategic partnership, 9 other deals

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Singapore: India and Singapore signed a joint declaration on strategic partnership and nine bilateral accords on Tuesday, the concluding day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s two-day visit to this city state when he called Singapore as Asia’s lion.

He also pledged to make the Indian tax regime more transparent and predictable.

It was a packed schedule for Modi as he began the day with a breakfast meeting with Singaporean leaders, met President Tony Tan and Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, witnessed the signing of the accords, attended a lunch hosted by Hsien, laid a wreath at the INA marker, visited the Institute of Technical Education that is involved in skill development, addressed the India-Singapore Economic Convention, briefly met select CEOs and finally addressed the Indian diaspora, whom he praised for building up the country’s image.

Modi left for home late in the night. Singapore was the second leg of his visit that earlier took him to Malaysia for the ASEAN-India Summit and the East Asia Summit.

Modi and Hsien signed the joint declaration to elevate bilateral relations to a “strategic partnership to deepen and broaden engagement in existing areas of cooperation and catalyze new ones ranging from political, defense, and security cooperation to economic, cultural, and people to people contact”, an official statement said.

Besides this, two agreements on defense cooperation and loan of artifacts from India to Singapore, two executive program/operationalization documents on arts and culture, and white-shipping, and five memorandums of agreement (MoUs) on cyber security, civil aviation, knowledge exchange in the field of planning, urban planning, and combating drug trafficking were also signed.

The agreements were signed after talks between the two prime ministers here.

After the signing of the documents, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two prime ministers noted the importance of culture between the two countries and encouraged more exhibitions, exchanges, and interactions.

Modi and after the signing of the documents, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two prime ministers noted the importance of culture between the two countries and encouraged more exhibitions, exchanges and interactions.

Modi and Hsien noted their shared interest in furthering cooperation in the areas of science and technology, particularly in space, biomedicine and Ayurveda, the spokesperson added.

The two prime ministers also released two postage stamps showing Rashtrapati Bhavan and Istana, the Singaporean presidential palace, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries.

Speaking at the lunch hosted by his Singaporean counterpart, Modi described the city-state Singapore as Asia’s economic lion which has been a major partner in India’s transformation.

The Asiatic lion may now only be found in Gujarat. Asia’s economic lion is to be found here – in Singapore,

On his part, Hsien said the diverse Indian community in Singapore has played a large part in building the country.

Hsien said Singapore’s Indian pioneers include G. Sarangapany, who came here from Tamil Nadu in 1924. He founded the Tamil “Murasu” newspaper, and sold the paper at one cent a copy so that the poor could read it too, Channel News Asia reported.

“Because of leaders like him, Singapore has today a thriving community of Indians who are well-integrated into our society and form an essential part of our multi-racial, multi-religious mix,” Lee said.

Addressing the diaspora, Modi said: “The entire world is reposing a lot of faith in India today and the reason behind this is not Modi, but the Indians settled abroad.”

Wherever you have gone, you have made that country your own, irrespective of circumstances,

Addressing the Singaporean business community at the India-Singapore Economic Convention, Modi admitted that there were still a number of regulatory and taxation issues in India and tried to hard sell the country’s business potential to Singapore’s corporate community, – and assured that he will do the hand-holding when they come to India.

In the past few months, the interest of foreign investors in India has gone up tremendously. However, there were a number of regulatory and taxation issues which were adversely impacting on their sentiments. We have taken very decisive steps to remove many of the long-pending concerns,

Modi was hopeful that the much-awaited goods and service tax regime will roll out from 2016.

He said India’s growth rate was 7.3 percent last year and the World Bank has projected even better growth this year.

Modi observed that Singapore has emerged as the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) in India. “Outward Indian FDI to Singapore has also increased in recent times. Singapore is now one of the top destinations for Indian investments.

We are working hard to make sure that our tax regime is transparent and predictable. We are also keen to see that genuine investors and the honest tax payers get quick and fair decisions on tax matters. With this objective, we have already made a number of corrections,

He also said that in the last 18 months of the National Democratic Alliance-run government, reforms were happening in a “big way” and were now reaching the last mile.

Modi also paid his respects at the Indian National Army (INA) memorial marker here.

“Remembering the valiant heroes of India’s independence struggle. PM pays homage at the INA memorial marker,” Swarup tweeted.

The prime minister bowed before the photograph of Netaji Subhas Chandra Bose placed at the memorial. Netaji led the INA, which was dedicated to winning India’s independence from the British empire.

(Inputs from IANS)

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Now India is One of The Most Open Countries for FDI: Narendra Modi

Modi had conceptualised the summit as Gujarat Chief Minister in 2003 to position the state as an ideal investment destination after the 2002 riots.

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Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said that his government had made doing business in India easier, cheaper, faster and smarter with his term accounting for almost 45 per cent of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) that the country received in the last 18 years.

Speaking at the inaugural function of the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit 2019 here, he said India was now one of the most open countries for FDI with over 90 per cent approvals put on the automatic route.

“In the last four years, we have received FDI worth $263 billion. This is 45 per cent of the FDI received in last 18 years,” Modi told the gathering.

He said India was among the top 10 FDI destinations.

FDI
PM Speaks on FDI www.news.civilserviceindia.com

Modi, who is on a three-day visit to his home state to throw open his pet biennial Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit, said the India of today was a land of “immense opportunities” being the only place that offered democracy, demography and demand.

“Fifty cities in India are ready to build metro rail systems. We have to build 50 million houses. The requirement of road, rail and waterways is enormous. We want world class technologies to achieve our goal in a faster and cleaner way. India is thus, a land of immense opportunities.” he said.

The Prime Minister said the challenge for India, as in most emerging economies, was to grow horizontally as well as vertically to ensure that the benefits of development spread to regions and communities that have lagged behind while also meeting enhanced expectations in terms of quality of life, quality of services and quality of infrastructure.

“We are well aware that our achievements, here in India, will directly impact one sixth of humanity.”

Modi said his government had removed the barriers which were preventing India from achieving its full potential and now it was ready for business like never before.

The government has made doing business easier. cheaper, faster and smarter, he said.

“In the last four years, we have jumped 65 places in the global ranking of World Bank’s Doing Business Report. From 142 in 2014 to 77 now, but we are still not satisfied. I have asked my team to work harder so that India is in the top 50 next year.

“We have also made doing business cheaper. The historic implementation of Goods and Services Tax and other measures of simplification and consolidation of taxes have reduced transaction costs and made processes efficient.

“We have also made doing business faster through digital processes, online transactions and single point inter-faces,” he said.

According to LocalCircles, each person who voted in the survey is registered with the portal with their detailed information and in many cases they shared their residential address.
Doing business in India now easier, cheaper, faster, smarter: Modi

He said his government had made doing business smarter by insisting on IT based transactions and digital payments including direct transfer of government benefits.

Modi added that he understood that being a young nation, India needs to create job opportunities and better infrastructure, which are both linked with investments.

“Therefore, in recent years, there has been unprecedented focus on manufacturing and infrastructure,” he said.

Listing the achievements of his government, he said for the first time, India had become a net exporter of electricity, had installed transmission lines at an unprecedented pace and had doubled the speed of road construction with rural road connectivity now at 90 per cent.

Also Read: PM Narendra Modi to Unveil National Film Museum in Mumbai

“At 7.3 per cent, the average GDP growth, over the entire term of our government, has been the highest of any Indian government since 1991. At the same time,the rate of inflation at 4.6 per cent is the lowest for any Indian government since 1991, when India began its process of liberalisation,” he said.

Modi had conceptualised the summit as Gujarat Chief Minister in 2003 to position the state as an ideal investment destination after the 2002 riots. (IANS)