Singapore, Jun 1: Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who arrived in Singapore on the last leg of his three-nation tour earlier on Thursday, expressed his gratitude to PM Lee Hsien Loong for his untiring efforts towards strengthening relations with India. He also termed Singapore as a source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for India and also investments in foreign countries. Before the address began, the two leaders signed and exchanged MoUs.

Speaking at the joint press meet with PM Lee Hsein Loong in Singapore’s Istana, the Prime Minister announced that India and Singapore are going to enter into a new ‘Air Service Agreement’ soon. He said, ” I was happy to see that CEO’s of many important companies are looking at India with confidence. Both the countries are going to enter into a new ‘Air Service Agreement’ really soon & we are soon going to preview it.”

PM Modi, who launched three Indian mobile payment apps in Singapore at a business event, said, “The international launch of RuPay, BHIM and UPI based remittance app in Singapore, represents Digital India initiative and our renewed partnership.” The RuPay digital payments system was linked up with Singapore’s 33-year-old Network for Electronic Transfers (NETS). RuPay users will be able to make payments at all NETS acceptance points across Singapore.

“I am happy to note that Indian companies use Singapore as a spring board for not only this country but for the entire ASEAN region. For Singaporean companies, as India progress and develops, opportunities are coming up,” he further added. He also spoke about successful conclusion of second review of comprehensive economic cooperation agreement between the two nations.

Meanwhile, Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong informed that the country’s Navy has signed an agreement today with the Indian Navy on logostics cooperation. He also added that 25th anniversary of annual Singapore-India maritime bilateral exercise will be celebrated this year.

“Andhra Pradesh Amaravati city project is progressing well with Singapore Consortium. We also recently launched Maharashtra-Singapore joint committee, to explore economic cooperation including planning & development of airport in Pune,” he said.

Earlier in the day, PM Modi received ceremonial welcome at the Istana, the office of the President of the Republic of Singapore. He also met President of Singapore Halimah Yacob.

After the joint presser, Prime Minister Lee will host an official lunch in honour of Prime Minister Modi. Prime Minister Modi will next visit the Nanyang Technical University, which is ranked the best technological university and is considered a leading centre for research in Artificial Intelligence (AI). He will interact with the president and the board members of the university.

Following this, Prime Minister Modi will deliver the keynote address of the Shangri-La Dialogue, which will be the first time an Indian Prime Minister will address the event.

The Shangri-La Dialogue will be a platform to articulate regional security issues. The Prime Minister is expected to speak on India’s views on peace and security in the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) region and India’s role in the region. Defence ministers, military chiefs and top officials from more than 40 countries will attend the event. After the keynote address, a working dinner would be hosted by Prime Minister Lee for all dignitaries.

While addressing the Indian diaspora at a Business and Community Event at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre in Singapore on Thursday, PM Modi had said, “Political relations between India and Singapore are among the warmest and closest. There are no contests or claims, no irritants or doubts. It is a natural partnership from a shared vision.”