India-Singapore Relations | UPSC Notes

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India-Singapore Relations | UPSC Notes

The most powerful passport study, called the “Henley Passport Index 2021,” has put Singapore in second place. Singapore is the only country in Asia that has a AAA rating from all of the big credit rating agencies.

India and Singapore have been connected since the Cholas, who are thought to have named the island and set up a stable settlement. Sir Stamford Raffles is responsible for the more recent connection. In 1819, he set up a trading station on the Straits of Malacca to protect East India Company ships carrying goods between India and the area, especially China, from the Dutch.

After Singapore got its freedom on August 24, 1965, India was one of the first countries to make diplomatic ties with it. India and Singapore have close ties because their business and political goals are often the same. Since the early 1990s, India’s economic reforms have provided a strong foundation for cooperation with Singapore. This has made it possible for both countries to have a large presence in each other’s economies. Since the beginning of our Look East Policy in the early 1990s, Singapore has been an important link between us and the countries of South East Asia.

Important deals between both countries

• Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), signed in 2005.

• MoU on Foreign Office Consultations (1994), • Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (2005), and • MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Vocational Education and Skills Development.

In 2007, a Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) led by the Foreign Ministers was set up. A mutual CEO’s Forum was also started, and a Strategic Dialogue was announced.

In 2015, this strong partnership was upgraded to a Strategic Partnership after the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) of 2005 came to an end.

Areas of Cooperation: How the Two Countries Work Together

• India and Singapore have good relations because they have similar values and ways of doing things. They also have good economic prospects and similar views on important issues. Political involvement is regular. The defence ties are especially strong. There are many and growing economic and technology ties. Cultural and human ties are very strong. • There is a lot of agreement on a wide range of international issues, and both countries are members of a number of groups, such as the East Asia Summit, the G20, the Commonwealth, the Indian Ocean Rim Association, and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium.

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Cooperation on Defence and Security

• India and Singapore have a long-standing and comprehensive partnership, which includes: Annual Ministerial and Secretary level dialogues; Staff level talks between three wings of Armed forces; Training of Singapore Army and Air force in India (10th edition in 2019); Annual exercises, including India’s longest uninterrupted naval exercise with any other country (26th edition in 2019); Ship visits from Navy and Coast Guard; Training of Singapore Army and Air force in India; Training of Singapore Army and Air force in

• Singapore takes part in IONS and the multilateral Exercise MILAN, which is hosted by the Indian Navy. • Both Singapore and India are members of IORA and ADDM+ (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus), which gives both countries a chance to coordinate their views on regional issues that affect both of them.

• One new thing is that the first Trilateral Maritime Exercise between India, Singapore, and Thailand (SITMEX) will take place in September 2019 in the Andaman Sea. This was stated by PM Modi in his Keynote Address at the 2018 Shangri La Dialogue.

• India and Singapore are both worried about the problems that terrorism and extremism pose, so they have found it helpful to work together on a wide range of security issues.

Science and Technology Cooperation

ISRO has launched Singapore’s homegrown microsatellites since 2011. MOUs have been made in the areas of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing, and big data analytics to improve healthcare, cybersecurity, automation, mobility, smart energy systems, and e-governance.

Cooperation on trade, the economy, and development

• The main areas of cooperation have been to (i) increase trade and investment, (ii) speed up connectivity, (iii) create smart cities and revitalise urban areas, (iv) improve skills, and (v) put the emphasis on the state.

• India’s biggest trade partner in ASEAN is Singapore. It is the biggest source of Foreign Direct Investment and one of the biggest sources of External Commercial Borrowings and Foreign Portfolio Investment.

• After CECA ended, trade between the two countries went from being worth USD 6.7 billion in FY 2004-05 to being worth USD 27.85 billion in FY 2018-19.

• From April 2000 to September 2019, FDI from Singapore into India has totaled USD 91.02 billion, which is 20% of all FDI into India. This means that FDI from Singapore accounts for 20% of all FDI into India.

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• Singapore is where about 9000 Indian companies are listed. There are offices for 6 PSUs, 9 banks, India Tourism, CII, FICCI, Air India, and Jet Airways in Singapore. India has signed up more than 440 Singaporean businesses.

• There are now direct flights between Singapore and 15 places in India. There are more than 500 flights each way every week.

• India is Singapore’s third biggest source of tourists.

• Singaporean companies are still involved in a number of projects related to smart cities, urban planning, transportation, and infrastructure. Singapore is helping the Indian states of Rajasthan, Himachal Pradesh, and Maharashtra make plans for cities called “Master Plans.”

• Singapore is working with the Central Government, state governments, and government organisations to set up skill development units in different fields.

• FinTech and Innovation: There is more cooperation in tech, innovation, fintech, and startups. In 2019. BHIM UPI QR-based payments were tested for the first time in Singapore on November 13 as part of the 2019 Fintech Festival.

Cultural Cooperation

• Performing arts, theatre, museum exchanges, art, languages, and youth exchanges are all examples of cultural interactions.

• Language training, yoga, and the arts are all supported by regional and community-based groups.

Indian Community

About 9.1%, or about 3.5 lakhs, of Singapore’s 3.9 million residents are of Indian descent. Of the 1.6 million foreigners who live in Singapore, about 21%, or about 3.5 lakhs, are Indian expatriates with Indian passports. Most of these people work in the financial services, IT, student, construction, and marine sectors.

• There are more IIT and IIM graduates living in Singapore than in any other place outside of India.

• About 1 million Indian foreign workers live and work in Singapore. Singapore, on the other hand, is not an ECR country.

• One of Singapore’s four national languages is Tamil.

• Hindi, Gujarati, Urdu, Bengali and Punjabi are also taught in schools. The welfare and health of Indian citizens, including Indian workers, are a big part of the Mission’s consular duties.

How Singapore is important to India

• India and Singapore have a wide range of ties that are both military and economic.

Singapore is an important place to put money and is also a popular place for Indians to visit. India’s first Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement was with Singapore. This agreement is currently being improved. Singapore has built strong relationships with parts of India like West Bengal, Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana. Because of this, there is more business cooperation.

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Both countries want to look into other things, like travel and improving skills.Singapore is also an important partner in many of India’s development objectives, such as smart cities, urban solutions, the financial sector, skill development, ports, logistics, aviation, and industrial parks.

Singapore’s role in making it easier for India to work with ASEAN

• As one of the founding members of ASEAN, Singapore plays a key role in keeping peace and security in the area. It also helps ASEAN reach its goal of creating and fostering development and prosperity.When Singapore joined ASEAN, it did so because it had to prove itself as an independent country and bring in more trade. However, Singapore has since grown to a certain level compared to the other ASEAN countries. Slowly, it grew until Singapore started giving trading posts and cash to people who wanted to start their own businesses. 88 Singapore agreed that the ASEAN Free Trade Zone should be set up.Singapore’s voice has been heard in ASEAN, which led to India becoming an official dialogue partner in 1995. Before that, India was only a sectoral talk partner. Singapore also helped bring India and the countries of ASEAN together.

• It’s important to say again that signing the CECA with Singapore was a big step in the right direction for both countries. Singapore backs India’s goal of becoming an important and well-known player in Southeast Asia. If India-ASEAN relations are to be successful, Singapore is happy to act as a go-between.

India and Singapore work closely together on the world stage, and they are linked by a number of regional groups, such as ASEAN, the ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN plus three, the East Asia Summit, and the ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting (ADMM) Plus. Singapore has strongly supported India’s efforts to increase its geostrategic impact in ASEAN and to get a permanent seat on the UN Security Council.