July 1, 2014 12:37:58 pm
A clear mandate for Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a sea change for India after years of rule by different coalition governments and Singapore is approaching the development with cautious optimism, country’s Foreign Minister K Shanmugam said on Monday.
Shanmugam, who is visiting India this week, said the caution arises from the “complexities” of the Indian system. “Given all that, the stark difference is being one (government) with a clear majority and mandate, and one which had to operate without, and that by itself leads to a considerable degree of cautious optimism,” he said in an interview published in The Straits Times on Tuesday.
Noting that Singapore has good relations with Modi, as the former Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shanmugam said many local companies have invested there.
“Singapore is a partner country in this year’s Vibrant Gujarat convention,” he said, referring to the biennial investor summit organised by the state which has become a model of economic and infrastructure development under Modi’s stewardship.
Shanmugam also said Singapore wants to engage India on many other fronts.
“I hope we can discuss practical, concrete measures to upgrade whatever we have, both in economic and strategic terms,” he added. The Singapore daily noted that the business-friendly Modi has vowed to focus on development. It cited analysts as saying that this could mean a huge focus on infrastructure, offering opportunities for investors in China, Singapore, South Korea and Japan.
Shanmugam is scheduled to meet the Prime Minister and other ministers in the new government during his visit to Delhi. He would also be meeting Chief Ministers of Andhra Pradesh, Telangana and Tamil Nadu, according to Singapore Foreign Ministry statement released last night.