Singapore: At a time when the world seems to be growing more fractured, the values of tolerance, equality and democracy enshrined in the Indian Constitution are more important than ever, a senior Singaporean Minister has said.
Speaking at the 68th Republic Day celebrations organised by India’s High Commission here, Trade and Industry Minister Lim Hng Kiang said yesterday, “as India forges ahead on its path to development, Singapore stands ready to collaborate wherever we can”.
“At a time when the world seems to be growing more fractured and fractious, the values of tolerance, equality and democracy enshrined in the Constitution of India are more important than ever. These are values Singapore shares as a multi-racial, multi-lingual, multi-cultural country,” he said.
Lim said India has continued to make bold strides towards greater economic and social development.
“In this spirit, and on behalf of the government and people of Singapore, I offer my heartiest congratulations to the government and people of India on this joyous occasion,” he said at the reception attended by government officials, diplomats and business leaders.
“Initiatives such as ‘Clean India’, ‘Digital India’, and ‘Skill India’ have captured the public imagination, and are now being translated into tangible changes on the ground.
Driven by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s call for companies to ‘Make in India’, India has grown to become the 6th largest manufacturing economy in the world,” Lim said.
Lim said the implementation of the Goods and Services Tax (GST) this year, perhaps the most sweeping economic reform in a generation, will make good on longstanding calls for ‘one nation, one tax’ and add to India’s positive momentum.
“These changes, combined with India’s young and rapidly urbanising workforce, will help India become one of the world’s fastest growing economies this year,” he said.
He also reaffirmed the good government-to-government ties between the two countries, saying these were kept up through regular high-level exchanges.
Modi’s official visit to Singapore in November 2015 was followed by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong’s visit to India last October.
“The friendship between our countries goes deeper, rooted in cultural links that go back centuries and people-to-people connections that endure till today,” Lim said. .