PM Modi in Singapore | Modi, Pence discuss defence, trade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during their bilateral meeting in Singapore on Wednesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi being greeted by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence during their bilateral meeting in Singapore on Wednesday.   | Photo Credit: Reuters

The Prime Minister became the first world leader to address the Fintech festival which was launched in 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi arrived in Singapore on Wednesday for a two-day visit during which he will attend the East Asia Summit, an ASEAN-India informal meet, the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership summit and hold a meeting with U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence.

Here are the latest updates:

2.00 pm

Indo-US cooperation in defence, trade

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. Vice President Mike Pence held talks on Wednesday on a wide range of bilateral and global issues of mutual interests including defence and trade cooperation, ways to counter terrorism and the need for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

They had “productive discussion on all aspects of global strategic partnership based on growing convergence of interests on regional and global issues,” he said.

Mr. Pence referred to the upcoming 10th anniversary of the deadly Mumbai terror attack on November 26 and hailed cooperation between the two countries on countering terrorism, Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale told reporters after the meeting.

Mr. Modi thanked Pence and reminded him that in one way or other all the traces and all leads in the global terror attacks ultimately leads to a “single source and single place of origin”, without naming any country or organisation.

“He did point out that the mainstreaming of people involved in the Mumbai attacks in a political process which has taken place in the recent elections in Pakistan should be a matter of serious concern and not to just the two countries which is India and US but to international community,” Gokhale said, referring to the Mumbai terror attack mastermind Hafiz Saeed’s party contesting the July 25 elections in Pakistan.

“There was some good understanding of the areas of how we move forward in building cooperation in counter terrorism and both countries recognised this is a challenge we have to fight together and to fight along with the rest of the international community,” Mr. okhale said.

On bilateral issues, the two sides had brief discussions on trade related matters.

Prime Minister Modi remarked in particular that in the last two years - since President Donald Trump has assumed office - American exports to India have grown by 50 per cent and it is perhaps only country, perhaps the only one, of the top 10 countries with which the US has a trade deficit, where the deficit is actually reduced last year and is on course to further reduce this year, Gokhale said.

He said Prime Minister Modi also discussed import of oil and gas worth $ 4 billion from the US as the two leaders emphasised on the need to enhance energy cooperation.

The defence sector was another area of cooperation between the two sides.

“Both sides agreed that there have been substantial enhancement in our defence relationship and in our imports of equipment from US but Prime Minister Modi stressed that there was a great opportunity for US in India in making defence equipment and in setting up defence industry in India,” Mr. Gokhale said.

1.15 pm

Modi launches APIX technology

Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched the APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a banking technology platform designed to reach nearly two billion people worldwide who are still without bank accounts.

“PM Narendra Modi launching APIX (Application Programming Interface Exchange), a global fintech platform with Deputy PM of Singapore T Shanmugaratnam. APIX will eventually connect our companies to financial institutions globally,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.

APIX is a banking technology platform designed to reach two billion people worldwide who are still without bank accounts.

Designed by software experts based in Hyderabad, Colombo and London, APIX is a sophisticated technology developed by Boston-headquartered Virtusa, especially for smaller banks, Tier 3 and 4, to reach out to people in the remote regions.

10:50 am

PM Modi meets U.S. Vice-President Pence

Mr. Modi met U.S. Vice-President Mike Pence in Singapore on Wednesday on the sidelines of the East Asia Summit and the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral ties, including defence cooperation and the need for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific.

The two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral defence cooperation and a common vision for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, official sources said.

Mr. Pence will be representing President Donald Trump at the ASEAN and East Asia Summit in Singapore.

As strategic partners, India and ASEAN enjoy close trade and economic relations.

Trade between India and ASEAN stood at $81.33 billion in 2017-18 and constitutes 10.58% of India’s total trade. Exports to ASEAN countries constitute 11.28% of India’s total exports.

India and the U.S. have explored ways to further deepen operational cooperation in the resource-rich Indo-Pacific region where China has been trying to spread its influence.

China is ‘coercing’ its neighbours to reorder the Indo-Pacific region to its advantage as Beijing flexes its muscles in the East and South China Seas.

India, the U.S. and several other world powers have been talking about the need to ensure a free, open and thriving Indo-Pacific in the backdrop of China’s rising military manoeuvring in the region.

10:20 am

Modi holds talks with Singapore’s PM Lee Hsien Loong

Prime Minister Narendra Modi Wednesday met his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong and the two leaders discussed a range of issues, including cooperation in financial technology and regional economic integration.

Mr. Modi met Lee on the sidelines of East Asia Summit.

“PM Narendra Modi met with Prime Minister of Singapore lee Hsien Loong on the sidelines of East Asia Summit. Good exchange of views on cooperation in financial technology, enhanced connectivity and regional economic integration,” External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in a tweet.

8:45 am

PM Modi pitches India as favourite investment destination

Mr. Modi said on Wednesday that financial inclusion has become a reality for 1.3 billion Indians as he pitched India as a favourite destination for investment at the Fintech Festival here.

Mr. Modi became the first world leader to address the festival which was launched in 2016 and is in its third edition.

“Financial inclusion has become reality for 1.3 billion Indians. We have generated more than 1.2 billion biometric identities — Aadhaar or foundation — in just a few years,” Mr. Modi said at the event.

 

The Singapore Fintech Festival (SFF) is already the world’s largest event on financial technology — or fintech. In 2017, the event drew as many as 30,000 participants from over 100 countries.

The SFF involves a three-day conference, and exhibition of FinTech firms and capabilities, a global competition of FinTech solutions and a platform for matching entrepreneurs and investment capital.

Mr. Modi said through Aadhaar and cellphones, his government has launched Jan Dhan Yojana and opened 330 million new bank accounts in three years.

'Historic transition'

“These are 330 million sources of identity, dignity and opportunities. Less than 50 per cent of Indian had bank accounts in 2014. Now, it is nearly universal. So today, more than a billion biometric identities, more than a billion bank accounts and more than a billion cell phones give India by far the biggest public infrastructure in the world,” Modi said.

“We are in an age of a historic transition brought about by technology. From desktop to cloud, from Internet to social media, from IT Services to Internet of Things, we have come a long way in short time,” the Prime Minister said.

 

PM Modi arrives in Singapore

In a tweet, Mr. Modi thanked the Indian community for a "warm welcome amidst the rain".

"Extremely touched by the affection of the Indian community in Singapore. Their warm welcome, so early in the morning amidst the rain, was touching. India's diaspora makes our nation very proud. They have succeeded all over the world, in a wide range of areas," he tweeted.

 

 

High-profile meetings

The Prime Minister will have a number of high-profile multilateral and bilateral meetings with global leaders including U.S. Vice-President Pence and Singapore premier Lee Hsein Loong.

Mr. Pence will participate in a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Modi, the White House said on Tuesday releasing the schedule of the Vice-President Pence on the eve of the meeting.

The meeting is scheduled to take place 12.30 p.m. local Singapore time, during which the two leaders are expected to discuss bilateral defence cooperation and a common vision for maintaining a free and open Indo-Pacific, the White House said.

Read more

 

Visit will impart fresh momentum: Modi

Before leaving for Singapore, Mr. Modi said in New Delhi that his participation in the ASEAN-India and East Asia summits symbolised India's "continued commitment" to strengthen its engagement with ASEAN members and with the wider Indo-Pacific region.

Mr. Modi also said he was confident that his visit to Singapore would impart fresh momentum to New Delhi's growing partnership with ASEAN and East Asia Summit nations.

(With inputs from Agencies)

Why you should pay for quality journalism - Click to know more

Recommended for you
This article is closed for comments.
Please Email the Editor

Printable version | Apr 1, 2020 11:26:10 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/pm-modi-in-singapore-live-updates-financial-inclusion-now-a-reality-for-13-billion-indians/article25491112.ece

Next Story