India and Singapore have signed a joint declaration envisaging a Strategic Partnership to elevate bilateral relations of both countries.
It was signed along with 10 bilateral agreements during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s official visit to Singapore as part of his second leg of two nation’s visit of South-East Asia viz. Malaysia and Singapore.
The focus of the visit included ‘five S plank‘ i.e. scaling up trade and investment, smart cities, speeding up connectivity, skills development and state focus.
- The strategic partnership aims to catalyse the strategic relations between both countries ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts.
- It would broaden and deepen engagement in existing areas of cooperation between both countries in various sectors.
- The various sectors are defence relations, economic and cultural cooperation, skill development and capacity building.
Bilateral agreements signed are
- MoUs on curtailing drug trafficking and improving cybersecurity.
- Collaboration in urban planning and wastewater management.
- Extending of long-term loan of Indian artefacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore.
- Cooperation in the fields of arts, museums, archives and monuments.
- MoU for cooperation in civil aviation services and airport management beginning with Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports.
- Operationalization of the Technical Agreement on sharing white-shipping information to enhance bilateral maritime security.
- Singapore, one of the fastest growing economy is Southeast Asia region has approximately 3.5 lakh-strong Indian diaspora out of its total population of 5.5 million.
- India’s bilateral trade with Singapore is about 17 billion dollars and number of Singaporean companies are active in India since early 1990s.
- Singapore is the second-largest source of Foreign Direct Investment into India at about 35.9 billion dollars (from 2000 to 2015), which is about 13.9 per cent of India’s total inbound FDI.
- Singapore’s strategic location in Southeast Asia along with status as a financial, aviation and maritime hub is important aspect for India.
- Thus, presence of a large Indian diaspora, flow of investments and its expertise in urban development and skill development make it a very valued strategic partner for India.