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Nehru spirit prevails as Manmohan lands in Singapore

Sunday November 20, 2011 11:06:09 AM, Minu Jain, IANS

Singapore: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh reached here from Bali Saturday night for the final leg of his four-day 'Look East' tour to meet the leadership of this city state and also to unveil a Nehru bust along the picturesque Singapore river.

Manmohan Singh will meet Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, President Tony Tan and also call on Singapore's former minister mentor Lee Kuan Yew. He will then leave for the Asian Civilisations Museum where he unveils a marker of India's first prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru.

So far, Singapore has "marked" only four personalities - Polish English writer Joseph Conrad, father of modern Vietnam Ho Chi Minh, Filipino revolutionary leader Jose Rizal and Chinese leader Deng Xiaoping.

Singapore is India's largest trade and investment partner from the ASEAN region and accounts for a third of its overall trade with southeast Asia.

Bilateral trade has increased from $8.7 billion in 2005-06 to $17.4 billion in 2011. And as Manmohan Singh moves ahead with his 'Look East' policy Sunday, he will also be looking to further enhance this trade.

An estimated 3,800 "Indian" companies have registered their presence here. New Delhi has also signed a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in 2005, the first for India.

Manmohan Singh has come to Singapore after attending the India-ASEAN and East Asia Summits and will be hoping to increase the engagement with the region.

The last bilateral visit here by an Indian prime minister was by Atal Bihari Vajpayee in 2002. The Singapore prime minister had visited India in 2005.

(Minu Jain can be contacted at







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