NEW DELHI - Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrived in India last night for a three-day official visit that will see the two countries deepen their cooperation with the signing of new agreements on vocational education and skills development.
They will also renew for another five years an existing pact for the Republic of Singapore Air Force to hold joint military training and exercises with the Indian Air Force, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) said in a statement.
Mr Lee's visit caps a series of recent high-level exchanges that have taken place since Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's visit to Singapore last November.
India's ministers for external affairs, defence and urban development visited the Republic this year. Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong was in India in January, and Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law K. Shanmugam visited in May.
This morning, there will be an official welcome ceremony for PM Lee at Rashtrapati Bhavan, the presidential palace. It will be followed by a wreath-laying ceremony at Raj Ghat, a memorial to India's independence icon, Mahatma Gandhi.
During the visit, Mr Lee will meet Dr Singh and other leaders. He will call on Indian President Pratibha Patil and Vice-President Mohammad Hamid Ansari.
Later today, Mr Lee will address a business summit organised by three Indian business chambers.
The countries enjoy strong economic ties. Bilateral trade has increased threefold to $35.4 billion last year, since the signing in 2005 of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, covering trade in goods and services and investment protection.
Singapore is also India's second-largest source of foreign direct investment after Mauritius, and a hub for more than 5,000 Indian companies.
Tomorrow, Mr Lee will participate in a dialogue at a Singapore Symposium organised by two think-tanks, Singapore's Institute of South Asian Studies and the Aspen Institute India.
Mr Lee will be accompanied by his wife, Ms Ho Ching, Education Minister Heng Swee Keat, Speaker of Parliament Michael Palmer, and three MPs. During Mr Lee's absence, Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang will be Acting Prime Minister, MFA said.