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June 21, 2007

Singapore, India discuss ways to boost bilateral ties
Visiting Indian External Affairs Minister Pranab Mukherjee met with Singapore's Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday, discussing ways to enhance bilateral cooperation.
The two leaders agreed to encourage more two-way investments between India and Singapore, they also exchanged views on some developments in South Asia, according to a statement by the Foreign Ministry.

Lee encouraged India's continued engagement of East and Southeast Asia as this would bring even more mutual benefits.
Mukherjee said that India considered Singapore as the heart of its "Look East" policy.

The Indian minister later wrapped up his first official visit to Singapore with a public lecture on India's foreign policy in Asia, organized by the Rajaratnam School of International Studies and the Institute of South Asian Studies.

According to local television Channel NewsAsia report, Mukherjee stressed in his speech that India would neither export nor impose its ideologies on other countries and would not interfere in the domestic affairs of other countries.

He announced the formation of a "India-Singapore CEO's Forum" which would make recommendations to the two governments on policies and steps which could lead to enhanced cooperation between the two countries, said the report.

The minister also said he was prepared to consider Singapore as a venue for an annual conference of the Indian Diaspora, which has been held only in different Indian cities so far.
During his visit in Singapore from Monday to Wednesday, Mukherjee also met with Singapore's President S.R. Nathan, Minister Mentor Lee Kuan Yew and Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. Xinhua

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