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Text of 37th Singapore Lecture 'India's Singapore Story' by Prime Minister during his visit to Singapore



Text of 37th Singapore Lecture 'India's Singapore Story' by Prime Minister during his visit to Singapore 
Excellency, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong
Excellency, Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam
Honourable Ministers,
Professor Tan Tai Yong,
Distinguished guests,


Thank you for the honour and privilege of delivering the Singapore Lecture. 


I am conscious that I walk in the footsteps of leaders who have shaped modern India and our relationship with this region –President Shri APJ Abdul Kalam, Prime Minister Shri P.V. Narsimha Rao, and former Prime Minister Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

Mr. Prime Minister, I am deeply honoured that you have joined us here.

We have been on the road together in the past few weeks – for the G20 and the ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

This tells you how deeply linked the destinies of our two nations are .

To the people of Singapore, on 50 years of Independence, I extend the greetings and the good wishes of 1.25 billion friends and admirers.

In the life of humans and nations, milestones of time are natural.

But, few countries can celebrate the first fifty years of existence with a sense of pride and satisfaction that Singapore deserves to.

And, I can do no better than to begin with homage to one of the tallest leaders of our time and the architect of modern Singapore – Lee Kuan Yew.

To capture his mission in own words, he gave his life to see a successful Singapore.

And, it was with his well known steely determination that he saw Singapore through to its golden jubilee year.

His impact was global. And, in him, India had a well wisher, who spoke with the honesty of true friendship. He believed in India’s potential at home and her role abroad more than many in India.

For me, he was a personal inspiration. From his Singapore Stories, I drew many lessons.

The most profound, yet simple, idea was that transformation of a nation begins with a change in the way we are. And, that it was as important to keep your city and surroundings clean as it was to build modern infrastructure.

For me, too, in India, the Swachh Bharat campaign, is not just a programme to clean our environment, but to transform the way we think, live and work.

For quality, efficiency, and productivity are not just technical measures, but also a state of mind and a way of life.

So, in my visit to Singapore this March and in the observance of a day’s mourning in India, we wanted to honour a true friend and a very special relationship.

Singapore is a nation that has become a metaphor for the reality of dreams.

Singapore teaches us many things.

The size of a nation is no barrier to the scale of its achievements.

And, the lack of resources is no constraint for inspiration, imagination, and innovation.

When a nation embraces diversity, it can unite behind a common purpose.

And, international leadership flows from the power of thought, not just from the orthodox measures of strength.

Singapore has done more than just lift a nation into the highest levels of prosperity within a generation.

It has inspired this region’s progress and led in its integration.

And, it has made others believe that the possibility of progress is within our horizons, not an unseen and distant hope.

Singapore’s success flows not from the aggregate of numbers and the size of investments.

It is based on what I believe is the key to success: the quality of human resources, the belief of a people and the resolve of a nation.

Distinguished members of the audience,

It is with the same vision that we are pursuing the transformation of India.

People are the purpose of our efforts; and, they will be the power behind change.

I do not judge the success of our efforts from the cold statistics of number, but from the warm glow of smile on human faces.

So, one set of our policies are to empower our people.

The other set to create the conditions in which enterprise flourishes, opportunities expand and the potential of our citizens are unlocked.

So, we are investing in our people through skills and education; special focus on the girl child; financial inclusion; sustainable habitats; clean rivers and smart cities; and, access to basic needs of all our citizens – from water and sanitation to power and housing.

We will nurture and defend an environment in which every citizen belongs and participates, secure of her rights and confident about her opportunities.

And, we are creating opportunities by reforming our laws, regulations, policies, processes and institutions; by the way we govern ourselves; and the way we work with state governments.

Together with this software of change, we are also building the hardware of progress – next generation infrastructure, revived manufacturing, improved agriculture, easier trade and smarter services.

That is why we are moving on many fronts at the same time, aware of the linkages that make up a comprehensive strategy.

I learnt long ago that Singaporeans are too well informed about India to be burdened with numbers by a visitor, even from India.

In any case, for me, the emergence of India as the fastest growing major economy in the world is less important than what is more enduring: the wheels of change are moving; confidence is growing; resolve is stronger; and, the direction is clearer.

And, it is spreading across the nation, as the most distant village and the farthest citizen begin to join the mainstream of national economy.

Distinguished guests,

India and Singapore have been together at many crossroads of time.

Our relationship is written in the pages of history, the footprints of culture, the ties of kinship and the old connection of commerce.

We stood together in friendship at the dawn of freedom; and, we reached out to each other in a partnership of shared hopes.

Singapore’s success became an aspiration of Indians. And, in turn, India became the hope for a more peaceful, balanced and stable world.

As India opened itself, Singapore became India's springboard to the world and gateway to the East.

No one worked harder for it and no one deserves more credit for it than Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. He re-connected India to Singapore and the region.

He also opened my eyes to its vast prospects.

Today, Singapore is one of our most important partners in the world. It is a relationship that is as strategic as it is wide-ranging.

We have comprehensive defence and security relations. It flows out of shared interests and a common vision. Singapore holds regular exercises with and in India.

Singapore is the biggest investment source and destination for India in the world; the world's most connected nation to India; the largest trading partner in Southeast Asia; and, a popular destination for tourists and students.

Now, as we build the India of our dreams, Singapore is already a major partner in that enterprise: world class human resources, smart cities, clean rivers, clean energy, or next generation sustainable infrastructure.

Starting from the first IT Park in Bengaluru, it now includes the newest state capital in India, Amravati in Andhra Pradesh.

Our partnership will expand as our economies grow and the framework of trade and investment improves further.

But, I have always seen Singapore in loftier terms.

Singapore's success in overcoming odds leads me to seek a partnership that addresses the challenges of 21st century – from food and water to clean energy and sustainable habitats.

And, in many ways, Singapore will also influence the course of our region in this century.

Mr. Prime Minister, Distinguished members,

This area covers the arc of Asia Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions. However we choose to define it, the underlining theme of connected histories and interconnected destinies stand out clearly.

This is a region of expanding freedom and prosperity. It is home to two of the most populous nations; some of the world’s largest economies; and, the world’s most talented and hard working people.

Asia's re-emergence is the greatest phenomenon of our era.

From the darkness of the middle of the last century, Japan led Asia’s rise. It then extended to Southeast Asia, Korea and China.

And, India is now the bright hope for sustaining Asian dynamism and prosperity.

But, this is also a region with many unsettled questions and unresolved disputes; of competing claims and contested norms; of expanding military power and extending shadow of terrorism; and, uncertainties on seas and vulnerability in cyber space.

The region is not an island in a vast ocean, but deeply connected and influenced by the world beyond.

We are also a region of disparities within and between states; where the challenges of habitats, food and water remain; where our gifts of Nature and wealth of traditions feel the pressure of rapid progress; and, our agriculture and islands are threatened by climate change.

Asia has seen some of this at different points of its history. But, it has probably never been here before. And, Asia is still finding a path through its multiple transitions to a peaceful, stable and prosperous future.

It is a journey that must succeed.

And, Singapore and India must work together to realize it.

India’s history has been inseparable from Asia.

There were times when we turned inwards.

And now, as we reintegrate more closely with Asia, we are returning to history. We are retracing our ancient maritime and land routes with the natural instincts of an ancient relationship.

And, in the course of last eighteen months, my government has engaged more with this region than any other in the world.

From a new opening with Pacific Island Nations, Australia and Mongolia to more intense engagement with China, Japan, Korea and ASEAN members, we have pursued our vision with purpose and vigour.

India and China share a boundary and five millennia of continuous engagement. Monks and merchants have nurtured our ties and enriched our societies.

It’s a history reflected in the seventh century journey of XuanZang that I have had the privilege of connecting, from my birthplace in Gujarat to Xian in China, where President Xi hosted me this May.

We see it in religious texts written in Sanskrit, Pali, and Chinese; in the letters of the past, exchanged with warmth and grace; in India’s famous tanchoi sarees; and, in Cinapatta, the Sanskrit name for silk.

Today, we constitute two-fifth of humanity and two of the world’s fastest growing major economies. China’s economic transformation is an inspiration for us.

And, as it rebalances its economy, and as India steps up the pace of its growth, we can both reinforce each other’s progress. And, we can advance stability and prosperity in our region.

And, together, we can be more effective in addressing our common global challenges, from trade to climate change.

We have our unresolved issues, including our boundary question, but we have been able to keep our border region peaceful and stable. And, we have agreed to strengthen strategic communication and expand convergences. We explore shared economic opportunities while addressing common threats like terrorism.

India and China will engage constructively across the complexity of their relationship as two self-assured and confident nations, aware of their interests and responsibilities.

Just as China's rise has driven the global economy, the world looks to China to help advance global and regional peace and stability.

India and Japan may have discovered each other somewhat later. But, my friend, Prime Minister Abe, showed me in the magnificent shrines of Kyoto the symbols of our much longer spiritual engagement.

And, more than a hundred years ago , as Swami Vivekananda reached the shores of Japan, he exhorted the Indian youth to go east to Japan.

Independent India took that advice seriously. There are few partnerships that enjoy so much goodwill in India as our relations with Japan.

No nation has contributed so much to India’s modernization and progress Japan – cars, metros and industrial parks, for example. And, no partner is likely to play as big a role in India's transformation as Japan.

We do more together now. We see this as a strategic partnership that is vital for securing a peaceful and stable Asia, Pacific and Indian Ocean Regions.

With Korea and Australia, our relationships started with strong economic foundations, and have become strategic in content.

And, ASEAN is the anchor of our Act East Policy. We are linked by geography and history, united against many common challenges and bound by many shared aspirations.

With each ASEAN member, we have deepening political, security, defence and economic ties. And, as ASEAN Community leads the way to regional integration, we look forward to a more dynamic partnership between India and ASEAN that holds rich potential for our 1.9 billion people.

With almost the entire region, India has frameworks of economic cooperation. We want to be more deeply integrated with the regional economy. And, we will upgrade our partnership agreements and work for an early conclusion of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

In the flux and transition of our times, the most critical need in this region is to uphold and strengthen the rules and norms that must define our collective behavior.

This is why we must all come together, in East Asia Summit and other forums, to build a cooperative and collaborative future, not on the strength of a few, but on the consent of all.

India will work with countries in the region and beyond, including the United States and Russia, our East Asia Summit partners, to ensure that our commons - ocean, space and cyber – remain avenues of shared prosperity, not become new theatres of contests.

India will lend its strength to keep the seas safe, secure and free for the benefit of all.

This is an age of inter-dependence when nations must come together, to realize the promise of this century. We must also do so because our pressing challenges are not from one another, but common to each of us.

Terrorism is one such major global challenge, and a force larger than individual groups. its shadow stretches across our societies and our nations, both in recruitment and choice of targets. It does not just take a toll of lives, but can derail economies.

The world must speak in one voice and act in unison. There will be political, legal, military and intelligence efforts. But, we must do more.

Countries also must be held accountable for sanctuaries, support, arms and funds.

Nations must cooperate more with each other. Societies must reach out within and to each other. We must delink terrorism from religion, and assert the human values that define every faith.

We are a few days away from Paris, where we must achieve concrete outcome, in accordance with the principles of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. This is especially important for our region, particularly the small island states.

Friends,

Ours is a region of enormous promise. But, we know that enduring peace and prosperity are not inevitable.

So, we must work hard to realize our vision of an Asian Century.

Asia has the wisdom of its ancient cultures and all the great religions of the world. It also has the energy and drive of youth.

As Asia’s first Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore predicted on a visit to this region nearly a century ago, Asia is regaining its self-consciousness for realization of its own self.

Here in Singapore, where the region's currents merge; its diversity converges; ideas meet; and, aspirations gather wings, I feel that we are closer to that vision than ever before.

And as India pursues its transformation and strives for a peaceful and stable world, Singapore will be a major partner on that journey.

Thank you.
*************
Joint Statement on enhanced Malaysia-India Strategic Partnership (November 23, 2015) 
At the invitation of The Honourable Dato' Sri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak, Prime Minister of Malaysia, Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi undertook an Official Visit to Malaysia on 23 November 2015. Earlier, Prime Minister Narendra Modi participated in the ASEAN–India Summit and East Asia Summit on 21–22 November 2015. The two Prime Ministers held official talks in Putrajaya and jointly inaugurated the Torana Gate in Brickfields, Kuala Lumpur, a gift from India to Malaysia, as a symbol of India-Malaysia Friendship.

During the official talks, which was held in a warm and cordial atmosphere, the two Prime Ministers acknowledged that India-Malaysia relations have made impressive strides in recent years. The dialogue mechanisms at Ministerial and Official level, supported by a wide range of agreements have also provided a framework to harness the full potential of the Strategic Partnership, established between the two countries in October 2010.

Both leaders also conveyed their condolences to the families of all those on board Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370. In this context, the Prime Minister of Malaysia recalled with appreciation the ready assistance provided by India in the search operations through the deployment of six ships and seven aircraft, including at Subang airbase in Malaysia.

The two leaders welcomed the increasing two-way tourist movement and recalled the close cultural and religious affinity of the people of the two countries, including the presence of a large Indian community in Malaysia, which is a positive factor in fostering and developing current and future linkages to imbue greater dynamism to the friendly relations between Malaysia and India.

Recalling their stake in promoting multiculturalism, the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to democracy, pluralism and development.

The two leaders acknowledged the contribution made by Malaysia and India in promoting growth, economic development and stability in the Asia–Pacific region, and recognized each other’s responsibility in the promotion of peace, development and security of the region, and beyond, based on a convergence of political and socio-economic interests and aspirations.

The two Prime Ministers, while expressing satisfaction with the progress of bilateral relations over the years, reaffirmed their determination to take the Strategic Partnership between the two countries to the next level by deepening existing areas and exploring new areas of cooperation.

Both Prime Ministers then witnessed the signing of one Agreement on Cultural Exchange Programme for 2015-2020 and two Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) on Cooperation in Project Delivery and Monitoring, and Cooperation on Cyber Security.

In an effort to further broaden and deepen the relationship between the two countries, both leaders agreed to proceed with efforts to develop the Strategic Partnership between the two countries as follows:

Political Consultation 

1. To hold regular Summits, including on the margins of multilateral events;

2. To arrange the next meeting of the Joint Commission headed by the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries, with the next meeting in New Delhi in the first half of 2016;

3. To arrange regular exchanges at the Cabinet level between the Ministers in charge of Trade & Industry, Transport, Public Works and Infrastructure, in line with the new developmental initiatives introduced by India, and the investment and trade opportunities opening up in each other’s country;

4. To hold regular Foreign Office Consultations between the Senior Officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Malaysia and the Ministry of External Affairs of India, to enable both countries to monitor the progress of bilateral cooperation, including on regional and strategic issues of mutual interest;

5. Reaffirmed their continued commitment to Parliamentary democracy and to promote further cooperation between the Parliaments of both countries, and underlined the importance of regular and enhanced exchange of visits between Parliamentarians from India and Malaysia;

Economic, Trade and Financial Areas 

6. Reaffirmed their commitment to further strengthen bilateral trade and investment cooperation, and to deepen and widen their economic engagement, which has emerged as an important fulcrum of the strategic partnership;

7. Underlined the importance of holding regular meeting of the Ministers of Trade and Industry of both countries;

8. To promote joint collaboration, especially in infrastructure and construction sectors, and to facilitate joint projects and collaboration between the private sectors of the two countries, in line with the new developmental and business initiatives undertaken by India, such as the Make in India, Digital India, Smart Cities and Skill Development that offered significant investment opportunities for Malaysian businesses. The Prime Minister of India conveyed the steps being taken by the Government of India to provide a conducive environment for investors, and invited Malaysian investors to participate in economic activities for the mutual benefits of both countries;

9. Recognising the need to energise the activities of the high-level India-Malaysia CEOs’ Forum, called upon the CEOs’ Forum to develop specific recommendations to enhance business links in priority areas. They further urged the CEOs’ Forum to meet bi-annually and in a timely manner to ensure meaningful follow-up and implementation of recommendations;

10. Welcomed further contributions of Malaysian and Indian-owned financial institutions in both jurisdictions, which reflects the growing economic and financial linkages between the two countries;

11. Commended the contribution of IRCON over the past two decades on railway cooperation in Malaysia, and welcomed IRCON’s significant interest to participate in railway project in the future;

12. Encouraged public and private sector companies from both countries to pro-actively look at large investment opportunities at each other’s country. The two Prime Ministers welcomed the significant interest shown by Malaysian companies to partake in the business opportunities provided by India and their aspiration to invest in infrastructure projects;

13. Welcomed the contribution of Indian investment in Malaysia, in particular India IT firms, especially those located in Cyberjaya, and agreed to continue to promote greater engagement of Indian IT companies in Malaysia;

Defence and Security 

14. Agreed to enhance defence exchanges through regular dialogue at various levels, including between the Defence Ministers, senior defence officials, Chiefs of the Armed Services and through Service-to-Service Staff Talks;

15. Agreed to convene the next India-Malaysia Defence Cooperation Meeting at Defence Secretary/Secretary General level;

16. Welcomed the outcome of the joint exercises HARIMAU SHAKTI and to upgrade the exercises to company level, and subsequently to tri-services exercises;

17. Agreed to set up the SU-30 Forum for cooperation in training, maintenance, technical support and safety-related issues, building on the assistance by India for successful completion of the SU 30 MKM training programme by Indian pilots in Malaysia;

18. Further agreed to promote joint collaboration on projects of mutual interest in the defence sector including in the areas of defence equipment and industry, research, training and capacity building;

19. Agreed to institute annual talks between the Heads of the Indian Coast Guards and the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency including during Head of Asian Coast Guard Agencies Meeting (HACGAM).

20. Agreed to establish mechanism for sharing of information, including for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster relief (HADR) and white shipping;

21. Agreed to establish linkages between the Centre for UN Peacekeeping of India (CUNPK) and Malaysian Peacekeeping Centre (MPC);

22. Expressed strong condemnation for terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and called upon all States to reject terrorism and bring perpetrators of terrorism to justice. In this context, they welcomed the ongoing cooperation between the two countries on counter terrorism and agreed to further enhance cooperation in this direction;

23. Agreed to continue sharing of information and best practices to address the challenges posed by terrorism, and other traditional and non-traditional threats;

24. Reaffirmed that the two countries share a mutual interest in cooperating for peace, prosperity and security of the Asia-Pacific region and beyond;

25. Agreed to discuss further with a view to conclude the signing of the MoU on Transfer of Sentenced Prisoners, which act as an important humanitarian gesture towards sentenced prisoners;

Tourism and Education 

26. Acknowledged the success of the Festival of India in Malaysia 2015, supported by the Malaysian Ministry of Culture and Tourism, the Indian Ministry of Culture and the Indian High Commission, and held for the first time in all major cities and States of Malaysia;

27. Reaffirming their desire to promote greater opportunities for students to pursue their higher studies in each other’s’ country, agreed to conclude a MoU on mutual recognition of Universities and degrees between India and Malaysia at the earliest;

28. Welcomed the additional contribution by India of Indian Rupees 50 million to the Indian Scholarship Trust Fund, managed by the High Commission of India in Kuala Lumpur, which has been operating since 1954 for deserving Malaysian Indian students;

29. Welcomed the renaming of the Indian Cultural Centre in Kuala Lumpur as "Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose Indian Cultural Centre”;

Human Resources 

30. Welcomed the contribution of Indian workers to the Malaysian economy;

31. To further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries in the field of labour through Joint Working Group Meeting, as well as exchanges of visits and information on latest policies, laws and regulations;

Health 

32. Recognising the need to promote greater cooperation between the two countries in Ayurveda and other Indian systems of traditional medicine, Malaysia welcomed the deputation of an Ayurveda practitioner and two therapists from India under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme. The two sides also welcomed the gift of a Shirodara Yantra machine from the Government of India to Malaysia;

33. Agreed to receive a Siddha practitioner from India to Malaysia under the Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation programme;

Science and Technology 

34. Sustainable Energy development has been a key component towards achieving energy security in the future with both Malaysia and India having actively pursued to increase renewable energy sources so as to strengthen their energy security while increasing energy access. Noting that, both sides agreed to set up a Joint Working Group on New and Renewable Energy at the earliest that would serve as a good platform for both countries to exchange ideas and forge mutually beneficial collaboration;

Public Administration 

35. Noted the excellent ongoing cooperation between the Ministry of Personnel, Public Grievances and Pensions, India and Public Service Department, Malaysia under the MoU on Cooperation in the field of Public Administration and Governance. Following the 3rd Joint Working Group Meeting held in Kuala Lumpur on 28–30 September 2015, both sides will work on implementing the decisions made in the Meeting for fostering cooperation in English language training, Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET), e-governance, training institute collaboration, retirement benefits management, taxation data and business intelligence, and project implementation and oversight;

36. Welcomed the proposal for both sides to establish cooperation in areas of performance management, project delivery and monitoring;

37. Welcomed the conclusion of the Bilateral Work Agreement between Malaysia and India that authorise spouses of diplomatic agents and members of the administrative and technical staff of diplomatic missions and spouses of consular officers at consular posts for employment in the respective receiving State on a reciprocal basis;

Regional and International Cooperation 

38. Reaffirming the importance of strategic engagement of India in regional initiatives to shape an open, transparent and inclusive regional order and ASEAN’s centrality in the evolving regional architecture, welcomed the enhanced relations between ASEAN and India, especially since the elevation of the partnership to a strategic status at the ASEAN–India Commemorative Summit in 2012 in New Delhi;

39. Welcomed the adoption by ASEAN and India of the new Plan of Action (2016-2020) to implement the ASEAN–India Partnership for Peace, Progress and Shared Prosperity at the ASEAN–India Ministerial Meeting in Kuala Lumpur on 5 August 2015;

40. Welcomed the successful holding of the 27th ASEAN Summit and Related Summits and commemoration of the 10th Anniversary of the East Asia Summit in November 2015 in Kuala Lumpur, and further welcomed the 2015 Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the Establishment of the ASEAN Community and the Kuala Lumpur Declaration on the ASEAN 2025: Forging Ahead Together;

41. Welcomed the signing of the ASEAN–India Trade in Services and Investment Agreements, and took note of the progress towards finalising the Regional Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Partnership (RCEP) Agreement;

42. Stressed that the 70th anniversary of the United Nations is an occasion to urge for early reforms of the United Nations, including the reform of the UN Security Council. Malaysia took note of India’s aspiration for permanent membership of a reformed United Nations Security Council; and

43. Welcomed the post-2015 Development Agenda adopted by the United Nations with eradication of poverty by 2030 as its core objective.

The Prime Minister of India expressed his appreciation to the Prime Minister of Malaysia for the warm reception and hospitality extended to him and his delegation for the visit, and invited the Malaysian Prime Minister to undertake another visit to India at a mutually convenient date, which was accepted by the Prime Minister of Malaysia. 

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Text of PM’s statement to media in the joint press briefing with Prime Minister of Malaysia


His Excellency Prime Minister Dato Sri Najib Tun Razak ji,
Members of the Media,

Thank you, Mr. Prime Minister, for your warm sentiments and generous hospitality.

I deeply appreciate your gesture of hosting me in the midst of ASEAN and East Asia Summits.

I congratulate you on the outstanding summits, and for the establishment of the ASEAN Community. Your review of the EAS on its tenth anniversary set an excellent course for this region's most important forum.

The two back-to-back airline tragedies could sap the morale of any nation. I commend your leadership and the resolve and resilience of the Malaysian people.

Mr. Prime Minister, let me say how deeply we value our relations with Malaysia. And, we are grateful for your stewardship that has kept our relationship on a steady course of progress.

There are many dimensions to our connected histories. We have very old links of culture and religion. The Malaysian-Indian community forms a very special and strong bond between us. I had the opportunity to speak to them last evening.

We are defined by diversity and democracy. We have built a vibrant economic partnership. We are located on the same maritime route.

We are closely aligned in our vision and approach to the region, and work closely in regional forums.

So, with a relationship as rich as this, I am pleased that we have agreed to make our Summits, ministerial dialogues and official meetings more regular.

I assure you that we will work with renewed vigour to raise the level to momentum of our partnership.

I am particularly grateful to you for our security cooperation. It underlines our shared commitment to deal with our security challenges. We will continue to deepen our cooperation in this area.

The recent spate of attacks in different countries, not to mention the ceaseless terrorist attempts against India and Afghanistan, are a reminder of the global nature of this threat.

Mr. Prime Minister, you have provided leadership in combating extremism and radicalization, rejecting any link between terrorism and religion, and in highlighting the real values of Islam.

This is a great contribution to an important aspect of our global efforts against this challenge.

We will also make our defence cooperation stronger, including for advancing maritime security and strengthening disaster response in our region.

I am pleased that we have agreed to upgrade our joint exercises and set up the SU-30 Forum.

We will do more in terms of level and complexity of exercises and collaboration in training and defence equipment.

Our agreement to cooperate in cyber security is very important. As our lives get more networked, this is emerging as one of the most serious concerns of our age.

I share Prime Minister's belief that our trade and investment relations can be scaled up significantly. We intend to exploit the full potential of our bilateral agreements and the India-ASEAN Agreements.

We look forward to an early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Malaysian competence in infrastructure is well known. Malaysia has completed several important projects, including in the road sector, in India.

I expressed our desire to see enhanced Malaysian participation in areas such as expansion and upgrading of infrastructure, Make in India, and Smart Cities projects.

Indian companies have a strong presence in Malaysia. IRCON is contributing to development of rail infrastructure here. We want to raise the level of Indian presence in the Malaysian economy.

Prime Minister and I are determined to explore steps to show concrete and early results. I am also meeting Malaysian CEOs later today.

I am happy that we are strengthening our excellent cooperation in Public Administration and Governance. I have personally interacted with PEMANDU, and am pleased that our Niti Ayog will work with them.

We will place special emphasis on cultural and people-to-people ties.

As you know, Prime Minister Najib and I will inaugurate the Torana Gate at the entrance of Little India in Bricksfield. This is a gift of India, but a labour of love for Prime Minister Najib. And, it will be a symbol of our timeless ties and the friendship between our people.

We invite Malaysian students to study in India and urge early conclusion of an agreement on Mutual Recognition of Degrees.

I am very pleased with our excellent and growing cooperation in Traditional Medicine, including Ayurveda and Siddha.

Mr. Prime Minister, thank you for a very productive discussion. I am confident that our strategic partnership will go to new level. I look forward to your visit to India soon.

Thank you very much. 



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