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DPM Wong and Indian Prime Minister Modi discuss clean energy and fintech cooperation

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NEW DELHI – Singaporean Deputy Prime Minister Lawrence Wong and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi discussed new areas of cooperation such as clean energy and fintech during a meeting in India’s capital New Delhi on Monday.

Modi was also briefed on the outcome of the inaugural session of the India-Singapore Ministerial Roundtable (ISMR), which was held last Saturday.

He conveyed his best wishes to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and the people of Singapore, and expressed his hope that initiatives such as ISMR would “contribute to further strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries”.

Wong, who is also finance minister, is on a five-day visit to India with the aim of expanding cooperation between the two countries.

“We had excellent discussions on new areas of cooperation such as green hydrogen, solar energy, fintech, as well as data links,” Wong said on Facebook after the meeting. Monday’s meeting, which was also attended by Singapore’s Minister of Trade and Industry, Gan Kim Yong. and India’s Minister of Finance and Corporate Affairs, Nirmala Sitharaman.

“India is an important strategic partner of Singapore in many sectors. I am pleased that the pace of bilateral engagements has accelerated significantly as the pandemic subsides,” he added.

He also said he was looking forward to restarting the Singapore-India Hackathon, which was disrupted by Covid-19, “to build bridges between our young talents”.

The hackathon took place in 2018 and again in 2019 with mixed teams of university students from both countries racing to create software solutions to real-world problems in areas such as education and clean energy.

India and Singapore share close economic and political ties, with regular high-level political exchanges which have resumed with an exchange of visits in recent months.

Singapore’s Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan was in India for the Special ASEAN-India Foreign Ministers’ Meeting in June, while Chief Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam, who is also the Coordinating Minister for Policy social affairs, visited India in July.

The two sides held the 16th Foreign Ministry consultations in Singapore in August.

Mr. Wong, Dr. Balakrishnan, Mr. Gan and Minister of Transport and Minister for Trade Relations S. Iswaran formed Singapore’s ministerial delegation to ISMR on Saturday.

The Indian side included Mrs. Sitharaman, Minister of External Affairs S. Jaishankar and Minister of Commerce and Industry Piyush Goyal.

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