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India, Singapore discuss ways to cooperate in Indo-Pacific

NEW DELHI (PTI): India and Singapore on Wednesday explored ways to cooperate in the Indo-Pacific and exchanged views on international and strategic issues pertaining to the region.

The two sides held the discussions at the 15th India-Singapore Foreign Office Consultations that took place virtually.

The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expressed satisfaction that despite the coronavirus pandemic, considerable substance and content had been added to the ties, especially in the trade and defence sectors.

"The delegation discussed ways to further strengthen economic engagement between both countries. Easing travel restrictions and resumption of people-to-people contact was also discussed," it said in a statement.

"Issues pertaining to ASEAN-India relations and India-Singapore cooperation in the Indo-Pacific were also discussed," the MEA said.

Singapore has taken over as the country coordinator for India at the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) for a three-year period from 2021-2024.

"Views were exchanged on international and strategic issues pertaining to the region," the MEA said.

The ties between India and the 10-nation ASEAN have been on an upswing in the last few years with the focus being on ramping up cooperation in the areas of trade and investment as well as security and defence.

The Indian delegation at the meeting was led by Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East) in the MEA, and the Singapore side was headed by Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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