Singaporean President Tony Tan Keng Yam paid an official visit to India from February 8-11 at the invitation of his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said that the Singaporean President’s visit is expected to reinforce the two countries’ traditional close exchanges and further enhance their excellent bilateral relations.

India-Singapore relationship encompasses strong political understanding, close defence and security cooperation, growing complements in economic engagement, cultural linkages, and shared interests at bilateral and multilateral forums, the ministry added.

On February 9, President Tony Tan Keng Yam met with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj.

They had wide-ranging discussions on the enhancement of bilateral relations and cooperation on regional and international issues to raise their partnership to a higher level. The discussions covered new focus areas such as specific initiatives to develop smart cities and urban rejuvenation, promote skill development, coastal and port development, and strengthen linkages with the North East of India.

The two sides also agreed on sharing experiences in science and technology and other areas to enhance productivity and efficiency as well as broaden cooperation in fighting terrorism.

On February 10, President Tony Tan Keng Yam is set to inaugurate the Singapore Festival in India as part of celebrations of the 50th anniversary of the two countries’ diplomatic relations. A year-long Festival of India has also been underway in Singapore since August 2014.-VNA