5th India – Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue
- 21 Jan 2021
- 7 min read
Why in News
Recently, the 5th Defence Ministers' Dialogue (DMD) between India and Singapore was successfully held through a video conferencing.
- Agreement Signed :
- Implementing Agreement on Submarine Rescue Support and Cooperation between the two Navies was signed.
- Joint Stand:
- Bilateral Cooperation:
- Both the countries conveyed their full support towards the early conclusion of agreements to facilitate conduct of live firings and to establish reciprocal arrangements for the cross-attendance of military courses.
- They welcomed the initiatives to expand bilateral defence cooperation including the implementing agreement on Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief (HADR) cooperation in August 2020.
- The cyber agencies of both armed forces have also stepped up engagements.
- Impact of Covid-19:
- Both countries exchanged views on the impact of the global Covid-19 pandemic on the defence and security engagements, including the best practices adopted by their Armed Forces.
- Defence Exercises:
- Both the countries successfully conducted the 27th edition of Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercise (SIMBEX) and also participated in the second edition of the Singapore-India-Thailand Maritime Exercise (SITMEX), both held in November 2020.
- These exercises enhance interoperability amongst the navies and underscore the shared responsibility of the countries to work together to keep sea lines of communications open.
- Bilateral Cooperation:
- India’s Stand:
- India conveyed gratitude for the role of the Singapore Armed Forces, in supporting foreign workers, many of whom were Indian Nationals, at the peak of pandemic.
- India reaffirmed Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) centrality in the regional security architecture and pledged India’s support to all endeavours of the ASEAN Defence Ministers' Meeting (ADMM)-Plus.
- Singapore’s Stand:
- Singapore complimented India’s successes in bringing down the overall numbers of Covid-19 cases despite challenges of scale in terms of geography and population.
- It also expressed support for India’s upcoming co-chairmanship of the ADMM-Plus Experts’ Working Group on HADR.
- Singapore has been ranked 2nd in the most powerful passport report ‘Henley Passport Index 2021’.
- The first UN treaty to be named after Singapore, the United Nations Convention on International Settlement Agreements Resulting from Mediation (or, Singapore Convention on Mediation) recently came into force.
- Recently, the Hawker Culture in Singapore was inscribed on the UNESCO Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity at the 15th session of the Intergovernmental Committee (IGC).
- Defence and Security Cooperation:
- India and Singapore share similar concerns about the challenges posed by terrorism and extremism and have found it mutually beneficial to evolve a broad framework of security cooperation.
- Singapore participates in Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS) and multilateral Exercise MILAN hosted by Indian Navy.
- Singapore’s membership of Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) and India’s membership of ADDM+ (ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting - Plus) provides a platform for both countries to coordinate positions on regional issues of mutual concern.
- Science & Technology Cooperation:
- Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) launched Singapore’s first indigenously built micro-satellite in 2011, 2 more in 2014 and 6 in 2015.
- In June 2018, both the countries signed six Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in the area of artificial intelligence, machine learning, cognitive computing and big data analytics to improve healthcare, cybersecurity, automation, mobility, smart energy systems and e-governance.
- Trade and Economic Cooperation:
- Singapore is India’s 2nd largest trade partner among ASEAN countries.
- Total Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Singapore into India was USD 73.3 billion (till June 2018) which was 19% of total FDI inflow.
- The outward Indian FDI to Singapore was USD 62.9 billion (till August 2018), making Singapore one of the top destinations for Indian investments.
- In 2018, the High Commission of India also launched a startup engagement platform, India-Singapore Entrepreneurship Bridge (InSpreneur).
- Infrastructure and Connectivity:
- Connectivity: Singapore is directly connected to 18 Indian cities by 8 airlines, there are now 308 weekly services (616 weekly flights) by Indian and Singaporean airlines.
- Smart Cities: A consortium of Singapore companies is developing Amaravati, the new capital city of Andhra Pradesh. Singapore is also working with Rajasthan in preparing Concept Plans for townships in Udaipur and Jodhpur; with Himachal Pradesh for developing an integrated township of Greater Shimla; and with Maharashtra for development of Orange Smart City and master planning of Pune Metropolitan Region.
- Cultural Cooperation:
- Singapore’s large Indian diaspora through a number of cultural societies and Singapore’s official support sustains a high level of cultural activity in Singapore.
- They celebrated the 4th International Day of Yoga (IDY) through 173 yoga sessions and attended by approx. 8000 people.
- Even on Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary, celebrations were launched with a projection of Gandhiji’s video on the world’s largest HD video screen at Suntec Convention Centre.
- Indian Community:
- Ethnic Indians constitute about 9.1% or around 3.5 lakhs of the resident population of 3.9 million in Singapore.
- ASEAN-India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) was held in Singapore on 6-7 January 2018 as part of commemoration of 25 years of ASEAN-India Partnership.