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India and Singapore on Friday, while holding the 16th round of Foreign Office Consultations, reiterated their commitment to strengthening multi-faceted relationships and deepening the strategic partnership between the two countries.

Taking to Twitter, the High Commission of India in Singapore said, "Productive and forward-looking discussions to further strengthen the strategic partnership at the 16th Foreign Office Consultation today led by Secretary(East) @AmbSaurabhKumar and Permanent Secretary Mr. Albert Chua."

During the FOCs, the two countries reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction at the present level of engagement between both sides, according to a press statement issued by the Ministry of External Affairs, as quoted by news agency ANI.

Both sides also emphasized the importance of bilateral political exchanges, and enhancing cooperation in a number of areas like trade and investment, startups and innovation, fintech, smart cities, infrastructure, skill development, and connectivity.

They also reviewed defense cooperation between the two countries and noted the rise in tourist arrivals from India in recent months and the further need to facilitate the travel. As Singapore is the current country coordinator for India in ASEAN, the two countries exchanged their viewpoints on India-ASEAN engagements and further raise it to a higher level.

In addition to this, they also discussed regional and international issues of mutual interest. The close ties between India and Singapore have a significant history of strong commercial, cultural, and people-to-people links across a millennium.

The 16th FOCs, held in Singapore, was co-chaired by Saurabh Kumar, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs, India, and Albert Chua, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.

The next round of FOCs between India and Singapore will be held in New Delhi on mutually convenient dates.

Earlier this month, Singapore Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan praised India for its digital identity and payment systems and said that it is a "clear opportunity" for the country.

"India has certain strengths - FinTech, digital finance, digital inclusion, and what they have done with digital identity and payment systems, is a clear opportunity for us," the Singapore Foreign Minister said.

India-Singapore relations are based on shared values and approaches, economic opportunities, and convergence of interests on key issues. Political engagement is regular. The defense relations are particularly strong. Economic and technological ties are extensive and growing.

 

(With ANI inputs)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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