Singapore and India have affirmed that their bilateral ties remain strong and they will look forward to further areas of cooperation.

The two countries’ Foreign Ministers made the affirmation while co-chairing the third Joint Ministerial Committee meeting in Singapore on October 24.

Speaking at the event, India ’s External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid affirmed that Indian sees Singapore as an important stepping stone towards its larger relationship with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and beyond.

India always considers Singapore an extremely important bilateral partner in the fields of politics, security, economic development and shared prosperity and culture, he stressed.

For his part, Singaporean Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam said that India is urbanising rapidly so it pays much attention to planning and structuring soft skills and services, water and waste management, and sewage treatment.

“These are the kinds of things that Singapore , amongst others, can work with Indian cities,” he noted.

Singapore and India are looking to celebrate the 50 th anniversary of their bilateral ties in 2015, with upcoming visits by the two Presidents and a Singapore festival in India and an India festival in Singapore .

Two-way trade between Singapore and India reached 24 billion USD in 2012. At present, India is Singapore ’s sixth largest investor while Singapore is the second largest investor of India.-VNA