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India, Singapore enter into strategic partnership

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage at the IndianNational Army memorial in Singapore on Tuesday.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi pays homage at the IndianNational Army memorial in Singapore on Tuesday.  

India and Singapore signed a joint declaration envisaging a “Strategic Partnership,” which, besides broadening engagement in existing areas of cooperation, aims to catalyse new ones ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to economic, cultural and people-to-people contacts.

Besides the partnership declaration — a framework to contribute to greater regional stability and growth — the two countries signed as many as 10 bilateral agreements on Tuesday.

Later, addressing the India-Singapore Economic Convention, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said his visit had been very productive and positive. “I had excellent meetings with Singapore leaders. We have concluded the Strategic Partnership which takes the relationship to a new level of engagement,” he added.

The agreements included defence cooperation which provided for establishment of a regular Defence Ministers’ dialogue, joint exercises between the armed forces and cooperation between defence industries to identify areas of co-production and co-development. 

Cyber security

Memoranda of understanding were signed for curtailing drug trafficking and improving cybersecurity, enabling Singapore and India to collaborate on technology and research.

Agreements were signed for collaboration in urban planning and wastewater management and to extend long-term loan of Indian artefacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore and for cooperation in the fields of arts, museums, archives and monuments.

An MoU was signed for cooperation in a number of mutually agreed areas of civil aviation services and airport management beginning with Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports.

A document was signed for operationalisation of the Technical Agreement on sharing white-shipping information signed by the Indian Navy and the Singapore Navy on July 21, 2015. The agreement was stated to have enhanced bilateral cooperation in the area of maritime security.

According to Anil Wadhwa, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs (MEA), 14 to 15 issues were discussed at the meetings of the Prime Minister with the Singapore President and the Prime Minister on Tuesday. “Skills development was the first major issue that figured everywhere,” he said.

Mr. Wadhwa said India had sought Singapore’s expertise in skills development, development of tourism, particularly the Buddhist circuit and smart cities. In this connection, India was looking at the northeast for setting up a skill development institute by Singapore.

He said financial issues had also come up during the discussions. Issue of rupee bonds and fund raising for infrastructure development, especially for the development of Amaravati as the capital of Andhra Pradesh, were discussed.

It was agreed upon to open up at least 100 railway stations for redevelopment. Mr. Wadhwa said there was also a possibility for allowing foreign investments to acquire a limited percentage of equity shares of Navaratna companies.

The Prime Minister was stated to have invited his Singapore counterpart to visit Gujarat. Earlier in the day, Mr. Modi was accorded a ceremonial reception when he called on Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam.

Apart from having a breakfast meeting with prominent citizens of Singapore, Mr. Modi witnessed the release of two stamps by the Singapore postal department. He presented “an old and very rare” map of Singapore to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:37:42 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/india-singapore-enter-into-strategic-partnership/article7913143.ece

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