"From Sikhs and Tamils to Gujaratis and Indian Muslims, the diverse Indian community in Singapore has played a large part in building the country," Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong while speaking at a lunch hosted in honour of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday.
He remembered Indian pioneers including G Sarangapany of Tamil Nadu, Gujarati businessman Rajabali Jumabhoy, Maulana Abdul Aleem Siddique, an Indian Muslim who established social welfare organisations, reported Channel News Asia.
"Because of these leaders, Singapore has today a thriving community of Indians who are well-integrated in our society and form an essential part of our multi-racial, multi-religious mix," PM Lee said.
"Five Indian origin persons also served as foreign ministers of Singapore," added PM Lee.
"We believe India is a great Asian country that has a lot to contribute to the region and we wish India well in its reforms and development," he said. "We hope to develop our economic cooperation, air links and broader cooperation."
PM Modi's visit to Singapore coincides when both the nations celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations.
"We look forward to India playing an important role in the region, promoting regional security and peace, integrating its economy with the rest of the region and helping to shape an open and inclusive regional architecture,"PM Lee said.