Singapore looks forward to deepening ties with India: Prime Minister Lee


PM Lee stresses on the value of the relationship during launch of book on 50 essays by 51 Singaporeans on Singapore-India relations


Credit: World Scientific

Singapore looks forward to working closely with India at the bilateral and India-ASEAN levels. “As Singapore commences our term as coordinator of ASEAN-India dialogue relations next year, we look forward to deepening the partnership between ASEAN and India.”

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong made these comments during the launch of the publication, India on Our Minds, at the University Cultural Centre at the National University of Singapore on 7 December

“Prime Minister Modi’s ‘Act East’ policy expresses his intention to unlock India’s full potential through greater openness and integration with the region … We held the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, and adopted the Delhi Declaration”, said Mr Lee.

PM Lee also expressed his hope that India will revisit the merits of joining the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP). He stated, “India was on the minds of all the negotiators throughout the RCEP process, right till the very completion.” He added that the door will always be open to India.

On the publication, PM Lee stated that the “… collection of essays offers readers insights into India’s history, culture and future, from the lens of a small country that has a vested interest in India’s success.”

Published by homegrown international publisher World Scientific, the book documents the reflections of 51 of Singapore’s thought leaders on India and India-Singapore relations. One of the writers is Singapore’s Senior Minister, Mr Tharman Shanmugaratnam, a person who is admired both in Singapore and in India. Said Mr Max Phua, Managing Director of World Scientific, “It is World Scientific’s great honour to be the publisher of India on our Minds … This volume of essays on various aspects of Singapore’s relations with India – past, present and future, and our reflections on India, shows how closely interlinked both countries are and the deep respect we have for each other.”

The book also includes a foreword by Emeritus Senior Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong, and essays on Nalanda University, Amaravati, India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership.

The Prime Minister stated that the “book is a timely reminder that to Singapore, India will always remain a valued friend and partner”, adding that these sentiments are reciprocated by the Indian side.

India on Our Minds retails for US$38 / £35 in paperback and US$78 / £70 in hardback (before GST) at major bookstores, distributors and online. eBooks of the publication are available on Kindle, Kobo, GooglePlay, and, To know more about the book visit


About the Editors

Professor Tommy Koh is Rector of Tembusu College at the National University of Singapore; Ambassador-at-Large at Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Chairman of the Centre for International Law of NUS; Special Advisor of the Institute of Policy Studies; and Chairman of the National Heritage Board. He is on secondment from the NUS Faculty of Law, where he was Dean from 1971 to 1974.

Prof Koh was Singapore’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations from 1968 to 1971 (concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Canada) and again from 1974 to 1984 (concurrently accredited as High Commissioner to Canada and Ambassador to Mexico). He was Ambassador to the United States of America from 1984 to 1990. Among his other diplomatic posts were: President of the Third UN Conference on the Law of the Sea (1980-1982); Chairman of the Preparatory Committee for, and the Main Committee of, the UN Conference on Environment and Development (The “Earth Summit”) (1990-1992), and Singapore’s Chief Negotiator for the US-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (2000-2003). Prof Koh was also a member of three WTO dispute panels, twice as Chairman. He had also served as the UN Secretary-General’s Special Envoy, on a peace mission, to Russia, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania in 1993.

Prof Koh was the founding Chairman of the National Arts Council (1991-1996), Director of the Institute of Policy Studies (1990-1997 and 2000-2004), and founding Executive Director of the Asia-Europe Foundation (1997-2000). He chairs three committees for the National University of Singapore relating to law, Asia research and environmental management.

Hernaikh Singh has more than 20 years of experience in Singapore government and non-government organisations, business sector and academia. He has managed a diverse range of portfolios, including international relations, policy and business development, administrative management (encompassing human resource, finance, fundraising, corporate communications and events management), editorial and publications management, and training and research development.

Hernaikh was a pioneer staff of the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) during its formative period from September 2004 to December 2009. He rejoined ISAS in April 2017. He works with the Chairman and Director in the overall management of the Institute and, together with them, charts the think-tank’s strategic directions. He also manages ISAS’ overall administrative functions.

Hernaikh is active in public and community service. He was the founding President of Young Sikh Association (Singapore), a non-profit organisation dedicated to fulfilling the aspirations of young Singaporeans. He has served as a member on the Taxpayer Feedback Panel (Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore); Youth Network Committee (National Youth Council); Singapore Youth Award Selection Panel on Entrepreneurship; Working Group of the Tripartite Workgroup on Community Engagement at Workplaces (Ministry of Manpower); and Small and Medium Enterprise Infocomm Adoption Committee. He was also member of the Feedback Groups on Community Development and Political Development; Programme Quality Resource Panel of OLI 96.8 FM of the Radio Corporation of Singapore; and the Economic Planning Committee (Ministry of Trade and Industry). Hernaikh had the privilege of serving as an Honorary Aide-de-Camp to two presidents of Singapore – President S R Nathan and President Ong Teng Cheong.

About the Institute of South Asian Studies

The Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) was established in July 2004 as an autonomous research institute at the National University of Singapore. The establishment of ISAS reflects the increasing economic and political importance of South Asia, and the strong historical links between South Asia and Southeast Asia. ISAS is dedicated to research on contemporary South Asia. The Institute seeks to promote understanding of this vital region of the world, and communicate knowledge and insights about it to policymakers, the business community, academia and civil society, in Singapore and beyond.

ISAS broadly focuses on the following core research themes: International Relations and Multilateralism; Politics, Society and Governance; Trade and Economics; New Technologies; and South Asian Diaspora.

For more information about ISAS, please visit

About World Scientific Publishing Co.

World Scientific Publishing is a leading international independent publisher of books and journals for the scholarly, research and professional communities. World Scientific collaborates with prestigious organisations like the Nobel Foundation and US National Academies Press to bring high quality academic and professional content to researchers and academics worldwide. The company publishes about 600 books and over 140 journals in various fields annually. To find out more about World Scientific, please visit

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