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Singapore hopes to maintain ties with India

By Our Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI, SEPT. 8. The change of government here notwithstanding, Singapore harbours hope that the momentum achieved in its ties with India during the Vajpayee regime will be maintained under the new dispensation. Speaking about bilateral relations here today, the Singapore High Commissioner, See Chak Mun, said if the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries was signed this November, it would signal to the international community that India was an attractive investment destination.

Mr. See was addressing the inaugural function of the National University of Singapore Alumni Chapter in India (NUSACI). Stating that bilateral relations had made a `quantum leap' since the former Prime Minister, Atal Bihari Vajpayee's visit to Singapore in April 2002, he said the CECA would facilitate greater flow of foreign direct investment into India from his country.

Singapore is hopeful of CECA being signed this November when the Prime Minister, Manmohan Singh, attends the ASEAN-India Summit in Vientiane. Listing the benefits to India from the CECA, he said together with the ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement, it would allow India to have a deeper strategic engagement with ASEAN.

Though the NUS Alumni Chapter in India began last year, the outbreak of SARS and consequent advisories against travelling in the region prevented a big announcement.

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