India has invited Singapore to participate in the development of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor and the proposed national manufacturing zones, said Union Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma. It is a new aspect of India's ongoing diplomatic offensive in the economic domain. Completing a three-day visit to Singapore on Saturday, he said New Delhi was committed to working for an early and successful conclusion of the Doha round of global trade talks. “Progress has been slow, but as long as the key countries' negotiators are talking, this is still a positive environment.”
India and China were now engaging each other as “good partners” and “without any reservations” on bilateral trade issues. Because “we believe in cooperating” with each other, such a process was possible despite some “issues of trade imbalance,” said Mr. Sharma.
Earlier, Mr. Sharma told The Hinduthat India and China “work closely together” in the global trade talks. He was asked whether the two countries were moving towards a common wavelength on trade issues after having exuded the ‘ Copenhagen-spirit' in the climate change talks.
Mr. Sharma said Singapore was invited to develop one or two of the six “nodes” which would come up as part of the $ 90-billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor. The City-State was also offered access to one of the five big manufacturing-and-investment zones that India was now planning under the draft policy on a new industrial scene.
Singapore's Senior Minister and former Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong was urged to “look at the possibility of creating a dedicated fund” for channelling investments for India's infrastructure projects. Mr. Goh was “receptive and positive,” said Mr. Sharma.
Union Commerce Secretary Rahul Khullar and India's High Commissioner T. C. A. Raghavan assisted the Ministers in his extensive talks with Singapore leaders that covered a review of the bilateral economic pact that went into effect in 2005.