INDIA- SINGAPORE RELATIONS
• India’s connection with Singapore dates back to the Cholas who are credited with naming the island and establishing a permanent settlement.
• The close relationship shared by India and Singapore is based on convergence of economic and political interests.
• The process of economic reforms in India since the early 1990s created a strong basis for cooperation with Singapore, opening up possibilities for significant presence in each other’s economies.
• Singapore has played an important role in reconnecting us to the countries of South East Asia since the inception of our Look East Policy in the early 1990s.
• India was among the first countries to set up diplomatic relations after the independence of Singapore on 24 August 1965.
• Singapore’s Foreign and Law Minister was the first minster from any ASEAN nation to meet the new government.
• Former Singapore’s PM was awarded Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International understanding in 2004.
• Bilateral Trade has expanded significantly from $ 12.4 million in 1980-81 to $2.18 billion in 2013-14.
• Singapore has emerged as the 2nd largest source of FDI amounting to US$ 31.9 billion (April 2000 – Feb 2015), which is 13% of total FDI inflow.
• Singapore was the largest source of FDI into India for the year 2013-14 overtaking Mauritius.
• Outward Indian FDI to Singapore increased from US $351 million in 2004-05 to US $37.4 billion (April 2015), making Singapore one of the top destinations for Indian investments.
• In June 2005, the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) was signed by India with Singapore.
• Singapore has largest air connections to India with 6 airlines flying 232 weekly services.
• To promote inter-governmental cooperation in culture, a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in Arts, Archives and Heritage was concluded in 1993.
• Given the large and diverse Indian community in Singapore, cultural activities receive considerable support from community organizations.
• A number of cultural societies, namely Temple of Fine Arts, Singapore Indian Fine Arts Society, Nrityalaya, Kalamandir, among others, promote Indian classical dance and arts.
• Deepawali is regarded as the premier Indian cultural celebration.
Visa & Consular
• India introduced a visa requirement for Singapore citizens in 1984 while Singapore introduced it in 1985.
• Tourists from Singapore are allowed ‘eTourist Visa (eTV)’ in select airports in India since 2010 on unilateral basis.
• Ethnic Indians constitute about 9.1 per cent or around 3.5 lakhs of the resident population of 3.9 million in Singapore.
• Tamil is one of the four official languages of Singapore.
• Approximately two-thirds of the Indian community in Singapore are of Tamil origin. Punjabis, Malayalis and Sindhis are the other major Indian communities
• The bilateral agreement for naval cooperation includes:
1 Maritime security
2 Joint exercises
3 Temporary deployments from the naval facilities of each other
4 Mutual logistical support
• Indian Navy will have a full-fledged logistics facility that is 2,177 km east from its nearest base at Port Blair in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands in the Bay of Bengal.
• This is the first such military logistics agreement with a country east of Malacca indicating a shift eastwards for the Indian Navy.
Lanes of communication
• Both Strait of Malacca and Andaman Sea are the key sea lanes of communication.
• India and Singapore should increase their participation and activity in these regions.
• Indian Navy has started its Malacca patrol in June this year to protect the sea lanes of communication (SLOCs).
Choke point of commerce
• The Strait of Malacca is considered a critical choke point for global commerce.
• It is critical for the transportation of natural gas and oil.
• It is seen by China as vulnerable for its energy security.
Strait of Malacca
• It is waterway connecting the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and South China Sea (Pacific Ocean).
• It runs between the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the west and peninsular Malaysia and extreme southern Thailand to the east.
• It has an area of about 25,000 square miles (65,000 square km).
• The Strait derived its name from the trading port of Melaka (formerly Malacca) which was of importance in the 16th and 17th centuries on the Malay coast.