Have faith in Delhi: Indian minister

SINGAPORE - India's Foreign Minister Salman Khurshid has urged the Singapore business community to have faith in his country and be a part of its economic growth, promising the best opportunity for investment.

"The path of rapid growth is the only path we have," Mr Khurshid told a packed auditorium at the Marina Bay Sands Convention Centre on Wednedsay.

Speaking on the Economic Imperative In India's Foreign Policy, he acknowledged the bureaucratic delays and other problems businesses faced in India but said the worst phase in its economic slump was over.

"There is a lot of good that is going on, let us look at the success stories and add muscle to them," he told the gathering of businessmen, academics and students.

Mr Khurshid kicked off his two- day visit with an interactive session organised by the Indian High Commission, Institute of South Asian Studies and the Singapore Confederation of Indian Industry on Wednesday.

In his speech, he said he wanted to see another Singapore take shape in the US$90 billion (S$111 billion) Delhi Mumbai Industrial Corridor (DMIC), a point he made in an interview with The Straits Times in July. The DMIC is India's most ambitious infrastructure project and conceived as a global manufacturing and trading hub.

"There is an aspiration (in India) to emulate the efficiency, the vision and the remarkable success story of your country," said Mr Khurshid, who envisions more "Singapores" coming up in India's new economic zones.

Bilateral trade between the two countries stood at US$24 billion last year.

This morning, Mr Khurshid will co-chair the Third Joint Ministerial Committee Meeting with Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam. He will also call on President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen.

Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.