Economic Cooperation Current Affairs - 2020

Maharashtra signs MoU with Canada’s Quebec province to increase economic cooperation

Maharashtra government has signed Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Quebec province of Canada to increase economic cooperation and welfare of tribal community in the state. The MoU was signed between Chief Minister Devendra Fadanvis and Philippe Couillard, Prime Minister of Quebec province of Canada. Under the MoU, the key areas of focus are information technology (IT), biotechnology, artificial intelligence and welfare of the tribal community.

Key Facts

CM Devendra Fadnavis was on week-long tour to Dubai, Canada and United States to bring business to Maharashtra. During his visit to Canada, he also met Michael Sabia, President and CEO of CDPQ which is Institutional Fund Manager that manages funds over $298 billion. The intention was to attract more investment in Pension Fund from Canada. During this meeting, CDPQ agreed to partner with some of companies in India and also shown interest in working with retail partners.

India, Singapore enter into strategic partnership

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.

Key facts

  • 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-India Relations

  • 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.