New Delhi, Apr.2 : A high powered delegation of Indian political and business leaders, led by Commerce amd Industries Minister Kamal Nath, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and Sunil Mittal, CII President visit Singapore from April 4 to7 as part of the Incredible!India @60 event, organised jointly by the Government of India and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).
After the success of the 'India Everywhere' campaign in Davos 2006 and the India@60 in New York in September 2007, the Incredible!India@60 carries forward the objective of highlighting India's achievements as the a fast moving resurgent economy, with global footprints, and emphasizing its potential as a partner.
The Singapore government is participating in Incredible!ndia@60 in strength, with the Prime Minister of Singapore, Lee Hsien Loong being the chief guest at a gala dinner on April 4. Minister for Community Development, Youth and Sports and Second Minister for IT, Communications and Arts Dr Vivian Balakrishnan; Lee Boon Young, Minister for Information, Communication and Arts and S Iswaran, Minister of State for Trade and Industry are interacting with and participating in the event.
Incredible!India@60 will involve three days of business meetings and sessions focusing on, amongst others, Indian manufacturing, infrastructure and India's knowledge economy, including healthcare, ICT, education and skill development as well as financial services. India's soft power will come alive at Orchard Street in Singapore with enthralling cultural performances, handicrafts display and a photo exhibition on Incredible India. A fashion show presented by the well-known fashion designer and film-maker couple Meera and Muzaffar Ali will present to Singapore a breathtaking collection of Indian silk, wool, brocade and embroidery.
Singapore is India's largest trading partner among ASEAN countries, provides a gateway for India to ASEAN and China. Bilateral trade has soared between the two nations since the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in 2005. Singapore is the fourth largest investor in India, with foreign direct investment of 2.7 billion dollars between April 2000 - December 2007.
Singapore companies have increasingly invested in infrastructure and real estate as well as in logistics and communications and in the power sector in India, and have plans for healthcare, education, training retail and the automotive industries. Similarly, more than 3,000 Indian companies have a base in Singapore. India's investment in Singapore has grown 14 percent over the past decade. In 2005, India invested more than SGD 1.2 billion dollars in the city-state, making India the seventh largest Asian investor there.
In the knowledge sector particularly, the bond between the two countries is strengthening. More than 300 Indian IT companies have set up software development operations in Singapore. Indian firms now make up the fourth largest community in Singapore, and 19 of the top 20 Indian technology companies have a base there.
Cultural ties have traditionally been strong between the two countries, with a large and vibrant Indian diaspora community living in Singapore. Indeed, Tamil, an Indian language, is also one of Singapore's official languages.
The first India@60 event was held in New York in September 2007, with a large Ministerial and industry presence. The India@60 Singapore event is the second in the series.