India-Singapore Current Affairs
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India and Singapore will hold 25th joint naval exercise SIMBEX, acronym for Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise from November 10 to 21 in India off Andaman Sea and Bay of Bengal. SIMBEX 2018 will mark silver jubilee of exercise and will be largest edition since 1994 in terms of scale and complexity.
It will witness diverse range of exercises at sea such as live weapon drills including multiple missile firings, heavy weight torpedo (HWT) and medium range gun and anti-submarine rocket firings; advanced anti-submarine warfare (ASW) exercises, submarine rescue demonstrations; integrated surface and anti-air warfare (AAW); unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) operations and cross deck helicopter flying among others.
The initial first harbour phase of the exercise will be held at Port Blair followed by Sea Phase in Andaman Sea. Second harbour phase will be held at Visakhapatnam. Final sea phase will be held in Bay of Bengal. The number of missiles and torpedo firings in this exercise will be largest ever undertaken by Indian Navy with any foreign Navy till date. It will also witness highest numbers and variety of platforms fielded by both sides.
Indian Navy for this exercise will be deploying Ranvir class destroyer — INS Ranvijay, two Project 17 multirole stealth frigates — INS Satpura and INS Sahyadri, Project 28 ASW corvette — INS Kadmatt, Project 25A missile corvettes, INS Kirch, OPVs INS Sumedha and INS Sukanya, Fleet Support Ship, INS Shakti, Sindhughosh Class submarine, INS Sindhukirti, P8I Long Range Maritime Patrol and ASW aircraft from INAS 312, Dornier 228 Maritime Patrol aircraft from INAS 311, Mk 132 Hawk AJTs from INAS 551 and integral helicopters such as the UH3H, Seaking 42 B, Seaking 42C and Chetak utility helicopters.
Singapore Navy will be deploying represented by two Formidable Class stealth frigates — RSS Formidable and RSS Steadfast, two Missile Corvettes, RSS Vigour and RSS Valiant, one Littoral Mission Vessel — RSS Unity, Archer class Submarine, RSS Swordsman, ‘Swift Rescue’ Deep Sea Rescue Vehicle (DSRV), Fokker F50 maritime reconnaissance aircraft, embarked S70B helicopters and Scan Eagle unmanned aerial systems.
India and Singapore have signed Second Protocol amending Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in New Delhi. Its provisions will come into effect on 14th September, 2018.
Second Protocol amending CECA
It will help to boost bilateral trade between India and Singapore. It formally brings to closure negotiations on second review of CECA. It will give effect to provisions agreed between India and Singapore during closure of second review of CECA. It will give effect to provisions agreed between India and Singapore during closure of the second review of CECA.
CECA was first comprehensive agreement covering trade in goods, services and investments signed by India with any of its trading partners. It was signed in June, 2005 and its first review was concluded in October, 2007. The second review was started in May 2010. In closing second review, India and Singapore had successfully reached mutual understanding and agreement. They also had agreed to expand coverage of tariff concessions, liberalize Rules of Origin, rationalize Product Specific Rules and include provisions on Certificate of Origin and Cooperation on its verification. These measures will further facilitate trade between India and Singapore and also improve utilization of CECA. The conclusion of second review was announced during state visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore in June, 2018. Now, both countries are exploring the possibility of launching the 3rd Review of India-Singapore CECA in September, 2018.
Singapore is second largest trading partner of India within ASEAN and India is largest trading partner of Singapore in South Asia with bilateral trade of US $17.7 billion in 2017-18. Singapore’s trade with India constitutes about 21.8% of our total trade with ASEAN and 2.3% of our global trade. India had trade surplus of US $2.73 billion with Singapore in 2017-18.