Singapore, May 31:  Prime Minister Narendra Modi extolled the success of Singapore as a nation, pinning it on its multi-cultural society. Modi was addressing a business and community event on Thursday which he attended after visiting India-Singapore Enterprise and Innovation Exhibitions at Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre. The exhibitions mostly deal with the social impact and Modi’s address touched upon what his government has done in the past few years. (Also read: Modi Launches Three Indian Digital Payment Apps in Singapore)

This is Modi’s second trip to the island nation as the Prime Minister. He said when India opened up to the world, Singapore became a natural partner as also a bridge between India and ASEAN. He said India and Singapore have shared the warmest and closest of political relations. The partnership, and the bond, comes from a shared vision, he said, with “our defence relations being the strongest”.

Talking about the conditions back home, Modi said the country is experiencing change at a pace that was not even know thus far. “A new India is taking shape,” he said. He said, “Our infrastructure sector is expanding at a record speed. Last year, we built 10,000 km of national highways. The pace of rail track addition has doubled. We added over 80,000 MW of power in just three yrs. In renewable energy, we’ve become the sixth largest producer in the world.”

Stressing on the importance of financial inclusion, he said, “We are strongly focussed on financial inclusion. In three years, we’ve opened 316 million bank accounts for those who never had one. It is a new source of dignity for every citizen. More than $12 billion have been deposited in these accounts.”