Singapore, Nov 23 (IANS) India is now the bright hope for sustaining Asia’s dynamism and prosperity, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared here on Monday.
“Asia’s re-emergence is the greatest phenomenon of our era. From the darkness of the middle of the last century, Japan led Asia’s rise. It then extended to Southeast Asia, (South) Korea and China,” Modi said while speaking at the 37th Singapore Lecture.
“And, India is now the bright hope for sustaining Asian dynamism and prosperity,” he added.
Talking about India’s relationship with city-state Singapore, Modi said: “Singapore teaches us many things. The size of a nation is no barrier to the scale of its achievements.
“And the lack of resources is no constraint for inspiration, imagination and innovation.”
The Singapore Lecture has become one of the intellectual highlights of Singapore. It is designed to provide an opportunity for distinguished statesman and leaders of thought and knowledge to reach out to a wider audience in Singapore.
Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong was present at the event.
Modi underlined that India and Singapore have been together at many crossroads of time.
“Our relationship is written in the pages of history, the footprints of culture, the ties of kinship and the old connection of commerce.”
He mentioned that Singapore’s success became an aspiration for Indians. “As India opened itself, Singapore became India’s springboard to the world and gateway to the East.”
“Today, Singapore is one of our most important partners in the world. It is a relationship that is as strategic as it is wide-ranging.”
Talking about one of his pet projects, the Swachh Bharat campaign, Modi said it is not just a programme to clean our environment, but to transform the way we think, live and work.
“For quality, efficiency, and productivity are not just technical measures, but also a state of mind and a way of life.”
He said India was investing in its people through skills and education; special focus on the girl child; financial inclusion; sustainable habitats; clean rivers and smart cities; and, access to basic needs of all our citizens – from water and sanitation to power and housing.
“We will nurture and defend an environment in which every citizen belongs and participates, secure of her rights and confident about her opportunities.
“And, we are creating opportunities by reforming our laws, regulations, policies, processes and institutions; by the way we govern ourselves; and the way we work with state governments.”
Modi said that together with this software of change, it was also building the hardware of progress like next generation infrastructure, revived manufacturing, improved agriculture, easier trade and smarter services.
Modi paid homage to the architect of modern Singapore, Lee Kuan Yew.