Saturday, 8 October 2016

Singapore - India Relations

Singapore a 'firm believer' in India: PM Lee
S'pore PM Lee Hsien Loong & his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi spoke warmly of bilateral relations when they met at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi on Tuesday (Oct 4)

The meeting was part of Mr Lee's working visit to India from this Monday to Friday at the invitation of Mr Modi.

“S'pore is a firm believer in India,” Mr Lee said. “We continue to contribute, where we can, to your remarkable development story."

Mr Lee said he was "heartened" that both sides were committed to deepening the bilateral relationship, and looked forward to India playing a greater role in the region "because we believe your economy and influence will grow for many more years".

related: Singapore and Rajasthan deepen ties on trade, tourism

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Singaporeans have benefited from long-standing India ties, says PM Lee
Indian PM Narendra Modi, right, talks with PM Lee Hsien Loong as they walk for a delegation level meeting, in New Delhi, India, on Oct 4, 2016. Photo: AP

Over the years, S'pore & India have inked numerous pacts and embarked on several collaborations including a deal to avoid double taxation in 1994, a landmark agreement that gives Singapore businesses preferential access to the Indian market, and more recently, helping to draw up a master-plan for the new capital of the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

And PM Lee Hsien Loong noted yesterday that the “substantial” benefits from the good relations nurtured over time have — while not always immediately felt — cascaded down to ordinary Singaporeans and businesses, from job opportunities provided by Indian firms setting up shop in Singapore to a slice of the multibillion-dollar infrastructure pie in Andhra Pradesh for the Republic’s companies.

“Because we have been pursuing our relationship with India over these many years ... our business relationships have grown. We have got (S'pore) companies which are (in India). We have got S'poreans who are here working, finding many opportunities here. And Indian companies have also come to S'pore and invested in Singapore, and creating jobs for S'poreans,” said Mr Lee, who was speaking to the S'pore media after a 5-day official visit to India where more agreements and partnerships between the 2 countries were announced.



Singapore's contributions to India have benefits back home: PM Lee

Singapore's contributions to India's skills development are important for building bilateral ties, but there are also indirect benefits for S'poreans back home, said P'M' Lee Hsien Loong on Thursday (Oct 6).

“We share our know-how with them as goodwill and it is a base from which we can talk about other things, other areas of cooperation in tourism, projects, investments, hotels. These are things which you need a baseline of interaction and goodwill in order for other good things to happen," Mr Lee said.

These good things include the chance for S'porean companies to work on various projects across India, he added.


Singapore PM comes to India bearing a warning

As per Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister of Singapore, India is not as open for business as investors hope and think.

The whole host of problems according to him includes land acquisition, over regulation and legal hassles which are biggest among the bottlenecks.

For trade to grow, India should make a strategic decision to encourage independence, much more openness and try to emulate a more trade-based economy like Singapore.


India must open up, trade can’t be one-way: Singapore PM

India is not as open for business as investors expect, says Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, citing land acquisition, over-regulation and legal hassles among the biggest bottlenecks.

“For trade to grow, India must make a strategic decision that you want to encourage interdependence and more openness and more trade-based economy,” PM Lee, who is on a five-day visit to India told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.

“Your growth rate increased because India was prepared to open up the economy, loosen government control ,enable investments and free up the “animal spirits” or entrepreneurship. So Tata, Infosys, Mahindra went all over the world. But you have to allow other countries to operate in India too. It cannot be a one-way exercise,” Lee, said in a sharp critique of the operating difficulties he said businessmen face when trying to set up industry in India.


India must make 'strategic decision' to open up economy: PM Lee
A billboard welcoming S'pore PM Lee Hsien Loong to India's Rajasthan state amid rain. (foto: Kenneth Lim)

For trade to grow, India must make a "strategic decision" to encourage interdependence, more openness and a more trade-based economy, PM Lee Hsien Loong said on Thursday (Oct 6).

In an interview with Indian daily newspaper The Hindu, Mr Lee said India was not as open for business as investors hope, with land acquisition, over-regulation and legal hassles among the biggest bottlenecks.

The S'ore Prime Minister said that India's growth rate has increased because India was prepared to open up the economy, loosen government control, enable investments and encourage entrepreneurship.


India needs to remove bottlenecks: Singapore PM
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong during an interview to The Hindu in New Delhi. Photo: V. V. Krishnan

India is not as open for business as investors hope, says Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsein Loong, citing land acquisition, over-regulation and legal hassles among the biggest bottlenecks.

“For trade to grow, India must make a strategic decision that you want to encourage interdependence and more openness and more trade-based economy,” Mr. Lee, who is on a five-day visit to India, told The Hindu in an exclusive interview.

“Your growth rate increased because India was prepared to open up the economy, loosen government control, enable investments and free up the “animal spirits” or entrepreneurship. So Tata, Infosys, Mahindra went all over the world. But you have to allow other countries to operate in India too. It cannot be a one-way exercise,” Mr. Lee said, in a sharp critique of the operating difficulties businessmen face when trying to set up industry in India.

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‘India will need freer trade’

Currently in the country on a five-day trip, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong explains how India is invested in East and Southeast Asia. Excerpts from an interview:
  • “India’s rules are the consideration. You have multi-levels of government... and many rules, and not all of them are consistent. Land acquisition is another thing investors are concerned about.”
  • Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on why he hopes that New Delhi will take a more liberal approach on freeing up trade and promoting regional integration
  • Any business that invests in India must understand the geopolitical environment that they exist in and things like this will happen every so often and they have to take a long perspective. If they get excited every time something happens, it will be very difficult to sustain your business.


India a land of opportunities despite challenges, says PM Lee Hsien Loong
PM Lee Hsien Loong meets Indian PM Narendra Modi at the Hyderabad House, New Delhi on Oct 4, 2016.ST FOTO: LIM SIN THAI

India holds many opportunities for Singapore and is increasingly open to foreign investment, said PM Lee Hsien Loong as he wrapped up his 5-day working trip there today (Oct 6).

But there are still restrictions and S'pore hopes these can be eased, he added in an optimistic assessment of India's prospects, tempered by an acknowledgment of its continuing challenges.

India has a lot of potential, with its economy growing by 7.5% a year, said PM Lee.


New Stakeholders Help Deepen India and Singapore Relations

Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong’s recent five-day visit to India began with meetings with Foreign Minister Sushma Swaraj, PM Narendra Modi, and President Pranab Mukherjee. Two agreements were signed in the area of skill development, and one on industrial property.

On skill development, agreements were signed between ITE Education Services, Singapore (a vocational training arm of the Government of Singapore) and National Skills Development Corporation (India) with the objective of developing advanced skills training for Indian youth. The second agreement was signed by ITE Education Services and the government of Assam with the goal of setting up a North East Skills Center in Guwahati, Assam. This center will provide vocational and technical training for students from Northeast India. The third agreement was signed between the Intellectual Property Office of Singapore and India’s Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion and pertained to industrial property.

While India’s ties today with ASEAN have considerably strengthened both in the strategic and economic sphere, the Look East Policy is often traced back to a speech delivered by Former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao in Singapore in 1994. Singapore was one of the few countries to recognize India’s potential and responded positively to the economic reforms undertaken in 1991. Singapore has also pitched for a greater Indian role in ASEAN. Today, bilateral trade between the countries was estimated at $15 billion. Between April 2000 and March 2016, Singapore invested nearly $46 billion in India (PDF). Apart from strong ties between successive governments, the Indian diaspora has played a significant role in strengthening ties between the countries.


Singapore PM vows enhanced ties with India to fight terrorism

S'pore PM Lee Hsien Loong on Wednesday strongly condemned the terror attack on an army camp in Uri in Jammu and Kashmir and said it would do lots more with India to fight the terror menace.

"S'pore remains on constant vigil against terrorism. It wishes for peace in South Asia and would like to do lots more with India," Loong said after his meeting with President Pranab Mukherjee at Rashtrapati Bhavan.

Loong also conveyed his condolences on the death of the 19 soldiers martyred in the Sep 18 terrorist attack. Four militants believed to be from Pakistan were killed after they stormed the Uri army camp. Pakistan has denied any links with the attackers.

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India, Singapore vow to fight those who encourage and sponsor terrorism
Prime Minister Narendra Modi. (Source: PTI)

India and Singapore have vowed to fight terrorism and “all those” who encourage, support and finance it, asserting there can be no justification for terror acts.

PM Narendra Modi and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong recognised that “terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability”, a joint statement issued during Lee’s India visit said on Thursday.

It said during their talks on Tuesday, the two leaders reiterated their “strong commitment to combat terrorism in all its forms and manifestations, and stressed that there can be no justification for acts of terror on any grounds whatsoever”.

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India, Singapore to strengthen anti-terror, economic cooperation

The two countries also inked three pacts including the one dealing with Intellectual Property rights to facilitate greater business to business exchanges and collaborations.

India and Singapore on Tuesday decided to strengthen cooperation in countering threats of rising terrorism with Prime Minister Narendra Modi terming cross-border terrorism and increasing radicalisation as “grave challenges” that endanger the very fabric of the two societies.

Modi, who held comprehensive talks with Singapore Prime Minister on ways to enhance cooperation in key sectors including trade and investment, said defence and security cooperation is a key pillar of strategic partnership between India and Singapore.

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India, Singapore Must Focus On Combating Terrorism: Mukherjee

Asserting that India has been a victim of cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by groups which enjoy safe havens in Pakistan, President Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday said both India and Singapore must focus on enhancing cooperation on combating terrorism and isolating its supporters.

During a meeting with Lee Hsien Loong, the Prime Minister of Republic of Singapore, President Mukherjee said both Singapore and India are concerned at growing extremism and terrorism which are a common threat to the whole international community.

“India has been a victim of cross-border terrorist attacks perpetrated by groups which enjoy safe havens in Pakistan. The latest terrorist attack in Uri only underlined the fact that the infrastructure of terrorism in Pakistan remains active.”

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India should contribute to non-escalation of tensions like South China sea dispute, PM Lee

In a wide-ranging interview given to the Hindu newspaper during his official visit to India, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong suggested that the country should consider contributing to the non-escalation of tensions, like the South China Sea dispute.


When the interviewer asked him if India should be involved in such disputes despite the possibility of its intervention opening up another front other than the one with Pakistan, PM Lee said that it is something the Indian decision makers must consciously weigh and decide.
"The South China Sea issue has many levels and aspects to it. The specific territorial and maritime disputes between the claimant states, specifically China and within the ASEAN countries, there are four of them, Philippines, Malaysia, Brunei and Vietnam. It is between the claimant states as to “who owns what”, but other countries in the region and outside of it, have an interest in this issue because of freedom of navigation, international rule of law, including UNCLOS, peaceful resolution of disputes according to international laws and procedures. These are issues that countries have legitimate issues and we hope that the interests of the wider global community will be taken into account in whatever comes out of the resolution of the specific disputes. In that context, India can contribute in the region, just like what the other regional countries can contribute towards promoting a climate managing dispute peacefully, countries are discouraged from escalating their disputes and work towards a solution that is in accordance to international laws."
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Singapore to Rajasthan
Singapore now has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. (Illustration by: C R Sasikumar)

The India-Singapore Strategic Partnership was signed last November between the two nations. But Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s strategy of cooperative federalism means that one of the vehicles of this strategic partnership is the states. Today, Rajasthan and Singapore inaugurate a partnership that will bring world-class skill development in tourism and hospitality to the youth of Rajasthan with the launch of the Centre for Excellence in Tourism Training (CETT) at Udaipur. This partnership for tourism builds on the launch of a direct flight from Singapore to Jaipur earlier this week. During this visit of the prime minister of Singapore to launch the CETT, Rajasthan will also extend our partnership by kicking off projects to improve the tourism ecosystem in Jaipur and Smart Urban Development.

Singapore now has one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. This was not always so: It was colonised by the British, suffered brutally under Japanese occupation in World War II, and was forced to separate from Malaysia in the 1960s. But under the leadership of late Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew — described recently by PM Modi as one the greatest administrators and reformers of our times — Singapore has become a beacon of what is possible with hard work and strategic thinking in tourism, education, ports, finance, urban productivity, house ownership, job creation and much else. Singapore has been consistently ranked first in the World Bank ease of doing business global rankings and is considered as the best investment destination in Asia.

Singapore is a job magnet and the purposeful and innovative pursuit of job creation by its Economic Development Board (EDB) has been magnificently chronicled by Chin Bock Chan in the book, Heart Work. I hope someday to model our own industries department on the effectiveness of EDB because job creation changes lives in ways that no subsidy ever can.

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Singapore, India to be strategic partners

After 5 decades of friendship and a "special relationship" going back even further, Singapore and India will soon be elevating ties to the next level, President Tony Tan Keng Yam said last night.

Singapore-India relations will be elevated to a strategic partnership this year, Dr Tan said at a state banquet organised in his honour by his Indian counterpart Pranab Mukherjee.

"PM Lee Hsien Loong and PM Narendra Modi will be signing this milestone agreement later this year. There is much that both our countries can achieve by working together and much we can learn from each other," Dr Tan said.

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‘Stable and constructive’ relationship between India and Pakistan needed, says PM Lee
India has to develop a “stable and constructive” relationship with its neighbours, said Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong (left) seen with Indian PM Narendra Modi. Foto: AP

India has to develop a “stable and constructive” relationship with its neighbours, especially Pakistan, to manage cross-border terrorism over the long term, said S'pore PM Lee Hsien Loong.

Calling the Uri army base attack in India — which killed 19 soldiers and was blamed on Pakistan-backed militants — a “tragedy”, Mr Lee said Singapore is “stoutly against terrorism of all forms”, and cross-border terrorism is something the Republic is also worried about as a potential threat.

Mr Lee made these comments in an interview with Indian national daily The Hindu, during his 5-day working visit to India.

related:
Singapore-India tourism training centre launched in 'Venice of the East'
India must ‘reimagine’ its position in global economy: PM Lee
Singapore-India tourism training centre launched in ‘Venice of the East’

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PM Lee launches Singapore's second skills training centre in India
PM Lee Hsien Loong look on as Chief minister of Rajasthan Vasundhara Raje (centre) and Mr Ong Ye Kung plant a tree at the Centre of Excellence for Tourism Training (background) in Udaipur.ST FOTO: LIM SIN THAI

PM Lee Hsien Loong launched a tourism skills training centre in the tourist city of Udaipur on Thu (Oct 6), Singapore's second in India.

PM Lee, who is in India on a 5-day working visit, witnessed the unveiling of a plaque and the planting of a sapling by Acting Education Minister (Higher Education & Skills) Ong Ye Kung and Rajasthan chief minister Vasundhara Raje.

The Centre of Excellence for Tourism Training is scheduled to begin operations later this year and will have an annual intake of 480 students. It will offer up to six courses including retail services, hospitality operations and culinary arts.

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In India, PM Lee Hsien Loong declines VIP motorcade, opts for bus ride to hotel instead
Who needs a flashy motorcade when you've got a roBUSt ride?

PM Lee Hsien Loong is currently on a working visit to India, arriving on the night of October 3rd at Indira Gandhi International Airport.

Given that he’s the PM, the tradition would be to have him ferried to his hotel with an entourage of motorcycles and cars (a.k.a the VIP motorcade, similar to what you have seen on National Day parades).

PM Lee, however, being the cool person that he is, opted instead for a chartered bus to take him there.

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Not VIP, but aam aadmi: Singapore PM opts for a bus ride from IGI airport to hotel

When Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong arrived with his family at the international airport in New Delhi, his official entourage of cars was waiting for him at the exit.

Loong, however, had other plans. To everyone's surprise, he ditched the VIP convoy and instead hopped on to a chartered bus.

Prime Minister Loong, who was accompanied by his wife Ho Ching and a delegation comprising key ministers, Members of Parliament and senior officials, was received by Minister of State (Independent Charge) Statistics and Programme Implementation, Planning and Defence Rao Inderjit Singh upon his arrival at the Indira Gandhi International Airport.

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LHL & HO CHING'S FOLKSY WAYANG DISTRACTS FROM SEVERE PROBLEMS S'PORE FACE

The recent displays of 'ordinariness' by the PM and Mdm Ho Ching – his ride in India on a chartered bus rather than a motorcade and her adornment of non-designer handbags – are laudable in and of themselves.

But these public displays are distractions from severe problems that our nation faces, problems that Mr and Mrs Lee must address - for example, the lack of a coherent and viable plan to overcome our protracted economic downward spiral.

Another example is PAP's continued neglect of our elderly and poor as the SDP has pointed out over the decades and echoed by the United Nations last week.

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The double whammy of moving our funds overseas and signing-off our jobs to foreign talents

Is Singapore businesses’ interest in India growing or is it just Temasek Holdings?

Aside from “The Celebration Mall” in Udaipur, India, Capitaland has quite a few others in Bangalore, Mangalore and Hyderabad.

At the light-ceremony at “Celebration Mall” yesterday in Udaipur, Capitaland announced plans to open two more mega malls in India.

related: Displays of ‘ordinariness’: PM & Ho Ching – ride in a bus rather than motorcade

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No talent Singapore helping full of talent India

Singapore is going to help train 400 million skilled Indians by 2020. Should I say steady lah Singapore, or funny lah Singapore? We are now well known to be a little country lacked of talents and most of our talents are coming from India. We have imported talented Indians to fill top positions in banking and finance, in IT, in medicine, in law, in teaching, in the civil service, in every industry that you can think of. I thought Yaacob did a very good job cleaning up Singapore River and should be sent to India to clean up the Ganges. No? Did we send all our experienced train engineers to India and ended with the daily breakdowns with our own trains, no local talents left?

Now we are going to help to train Indians to upgrade their skills? How? Are we going to send back all the Indian talents we recruited from India back to India to train and up skill the Indians in India. Does it make sense? On careful study and some deep meditation I found the answer. Yes, it makes sense. The key word is ITE. It is the low technical skill level that India needs and we have plenty from our ITE Education Service. At this level we are surely competent, more than adequate to train the low skill Indians. For the higher skill and talented Indians, we would continue to import more of them here. We need them badly. Maybe the terms and jobs in the CECA should be extended for more Indian talents to work here to replace the no talent Singaporeans. And we can send our displaced no talent Singaporeans to India to help them and build smart cities for them. Oops, no talent Singaporeans to build smart cities? Make sense or not?

This is mind blowing stuff. The more I think about it, the more blur I get. No talent Singaporeans teaching highly skilled and talented Indians?

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PM Lee Hsien Loong: Learn from Singapore

Singapore has been open to India investors, India has not made it easy for foreign investors to enter its market. The Singapore Prime Minister then pressured the India host in his speech over a court case a Singapore government-linked company is involved in.

But you have to allow other countries to operate in India too. It cannot be a one-way exercise.

On the plans that have been put on hold for a Singapore consortium to build Amaravati, the new capital of the southeastern state of Andhra Pradesh, amid a court case by a local builder against the appointment of the Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp consortium… Singapore is still hopeful of the project going through.”

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Why India?

Launched in June 2015, the India Smart Cities Mission is PM Modi’s vision to modernise and improve quality of life in India’s urban centres. So far, 33 of the 98 shortlisted cities have been identified, with another 27 to be identified by 2016.

Singapore companies can consider several of these cities for their business expansion. For instance, Jaipur, Pune and Chennai have fairly responsive and capable state/municipal corporations, urban and industrial bases to support growth, and a healthy base of Singapore companies operating within the cities.

IE Singapore has received a healthy amount of interest from Singapore companies on the India Smart Cities Mission. As with any entry into an emerging market, India is not without its challenges. However, having a good Indian partner will help navigate the business environment in India.

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Bilateral Trade & Investment

Singapore is among India's largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN and accounted for 22.13% of our overall trade with ASEAN in 2014-15. It is the second largest investor in India with as share of 16% of total FDI received during April to December 2015. Our economic and commercial ties have expanded significantly in recent years, particularly after the conclusion of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in 2005. In addition to that, conclusion of ASEAN-INDIA Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) in Trades in Goods (TIG) in 2009 also help in boosting our economic and commercial ties with Singapore. Indian companies are increasingly using Singapore for raising funds, particularly for global operations. For public sector units opting for disinvestment through IPO/FPO, Singapore is an attractive destination for pre market discussion as well as road shows during IPO/FPO. Nine Indian banks operate in the country - Bank of India, Indian Overseas Bank, UCO Bank, Indian Bank, Axis Bank, State Bank of India, ICICI, EXIM Bank and Bank of Baroda. SBI and ICICI have been granted Qualifying Full Bank (QFB) status with retail operations.

The India-Singapore CECA has four key components: a free trade agreement (FTA) in goods; an arrangement for boosting trade in services, including financial services; a package to promote investment flows and provide mutual investment protection; and a new agreement for avoiding double taxation. It also includes Mutual Recognition Agreements on quality certification of goods and services, liberalized visa rules for professionals, and undertakings to cooperate on several sectors like Customs, dispute settlement, intellectual property rights, education and e-commerce.  The CECA also resulted in the signing of a protocol amending the DTAA. Laying out the duties and obligations of the two countries in the above fields, CECA also provides for dispute settlement procedures and recourse to arbitration in certain contingencies. Annexes to the CECA set out detailed information including a list of products for tariff reduction/elimination, certification and testing as well schedules on specific commitments.

Composed of 16 Chapters, the major issues dealt with by CECA include trade in goods (Chapter 2), rules of origin issues (Chapter 3), customs cooperation (Chapter 4), mutual recognition agreements on standards and technical regulations, sanitary and phyto-sanitary measures (Chapter 5), investment protection (Chapter 6), trade in services and movement of professionals (Chapter 7), air services (Chapter 8), movement of natural persons (Chapter 9), E-commerce (Chapter 10), IPR (Chapter 11), science & technology (Chapter 12), education (Chapter 13), media (Chapter 14), dispute settlement (Chapter 15) and implementation procedures (Chapter 16).

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PM Lee to meet top India leaders during 5-day work visit

PM Lee Hsien Loong arrives in New Delhi on Mon (Oct 3) for a 5-day working visit, where he will meet key office-holders like Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Pranab Mukherjee.

This is Mr Lee’s first visit to India since the signing of the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership last November.

He last visited in December 2012 during the Asean-India Commemorative Summit. Mr Modi will welcome and host Mr Lee to lunch on Tuesday, where the two prime ministers will also witness the signing two memoranda of understanding (MOU) on cooperation in skills development exchanged between the Institute of Technical Education’s Education Services and the Indian National Skills Development Cooperation and the Government of Assam.

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Government approves India-Singapore MoU to boost innovation, technological advancement
The MoU will be signed at the upcoming visit of Singapore’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi to India from October 4-7. (Source: PTI)

The government today approved signing an MoU with Singapore to give boost to innovation, creativity and technological advancement in both countries.

“The MoU will enhance bilateral cooperation activities in the arena of industrial property rights of patents, trademarks and industrial designs,” an official statement said.

It is intended to give a boost to innovation, creativity and technological advancement in both regions, it said.

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Singapore to sign MoU with India which would facilitate ‘exchange of experts’

The government information dissemination website gov.sg reported that PM Lee is set to meet top India leaders during his five-day work visit to that country.  The report said:
“He will also witness the signing of an MOU on cooperation in tourism and urban solutions, and a grant agreement on capacity-building in tourism and connectivity."
Mr Lee’s visit coincides with that of a business mission comprising representatives from 43 companies, government organisations and business associations here.

Led by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF), International Enterprise Singapore, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries, and the Building & Construction Authority, the business delegation will attend the India-Singapore Business forum co-organised with Confederation of Indian Industries, and meet businesses in India.”

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Singapore Airlines Group and Changi Airport to benefit as India-Singapore market opens up further


The Singapore-India market is poised for a modest increase in capacity, driven by further expansion from the Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group made possible by the recent signing of an expanded bilateral between the two countries.

The updated air services agreement only increases the previous capacity allotment for Singapore-based carriers by 10%. But SIA will take whatever it can get as Singapore-India is an important and generally under-served market. Incremental increases are typical with the India-Singapore bilateral, which has been updated several times in recent years, although Singapore would prefer a much bigger and broader agreement.

SIA along with full-service subsidiary SilkAir and low-cost carrier affiliate Tiger Airways already account for over 70% of capacity between India and Singapore. Indian carriers do not require a revised bilateral as they were using less than 40% of the prior allotment. Indian carriers over the last year have seen their share of the market decrease and may see their share drop further by the end of 2013 as the SIA Group again boosts capacity to India.

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What’s beckoning Indian startups to Singapore?

A large wave of Indian startups and entrepreneurs have moved from the large markets of India to Singapore, according to Shruti Chakraborty, who wrote about it in an article for Quartz called ‘How India can keep startups from moving to Singapore‘. But why not Silicon Valley? Apparently, there’s a strong value proposition to having a Singapore base.

While it may be seem to be a brain drain now, there are benefits to growing the Indian diaspora outside the subcontinent. Just as the Jewish diaspora enables Israel’s success as a ‘Startup Nation’, so could the Indian diaspora enable the success of Indian startups.

Rather than a loss for India, this migration of entrepreneurs to Singapore has long-term dividends for India’s startup community. It resembles the waves of Indian talent that moved (and still moves) to Silicon Valley, many of whom eventually returned to India. It allows Indian brands to access international markets and talent more easily.

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10 Pacts Signed as India, Singapore Elevate Ties to Strategic Partnership
The agreements signed between India and Singapore include defence ministers' dialogue, and joint exercises between armed forces

India and Singapore today agreed to elevated their ties and signed bilateral agreements for more cooperation in areas like cyber security, shipping and civil aviation.

The ten pacts signed by the two sides included a joint declaration by the two Prime Ministers on a strategic partnership.

"India and Singapore elevate their bilateral relations to a strategic partnership to deepen and broaden engagement in existing areas of cooperation and catalyse new ones ranging from political, defence and security cooperation to economic, cultural and people-to-people contact. The strategic partnership is also a framework to contribute to greater regional stability and growth," the joint declaration said.

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Singapore, India Hold First Defense Ministers’ Dialogue

India and Singapore held their first ever defense ministers’ dialogue Friday ahead of Asia’s premier security forum in the city-state.

Last November, the two countries had agreed to an annual Singapore-India Defense Ministers’ Dialogue (DMD) as part of a revised Defense Cooperation Agreement (DCA) inked as they commemorated the 50th anniversary of their defense relationship during the visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi last November. It was one feature of the DCA – an upgraded version of the one inked in 2003 – which also included deeper cooperation on maritime security and further collaboration between their defense industries.

On Friday, Indian Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar met his Singaporean counterpart Ng Eng Hen for the annual DMD before the 15th iteration of the Shangri-La Dialogue from 3 to 5 June.

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Can Indian professionals work in Singapore without valid work passes?

CECA is a comprehensive agreement with India to encourage bilateral cooperation and economic integration between our countries. Signed on 29 Jun 2005, it was the first comprehensive economic pact signed between Singapore and a South Asian country.

It allows for the movement of 4 types of business people between Singapore and India:
  • Professionals who are employed in 127 specific occupations are allowed entry and can stay for up to a year;
  • Intra-corporate transferees will be permitted entry and can work for up to 2 years. This can be extended to a total term of not more than 8 years;
  • Business visitors who hold 5-year multiple journey visas will be permitted entry for business purposes for up to 2 months, with an option to extend by an additional month;
  • Short-term service suppliers will be allowed entry to service their contracts for an initial period of 90 days.

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India–Singapore relations
Bilateral relations between the Republic of India and the Republic of Singapore have traditionally been strong and friendly, with the two nations enjoying extensive cultural and commercial relations. India and Singapore have signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in order to increase trade, investments and economic cooperation, and expanded bilateral cooperation on maritime security, training forces, joint naval exercises, developing military technology and fighting terrorism.

According to a 2010 Gallup poll, 40% of Singaporeans approve of India's leadership, with 23% disapproving and 37% uncertain.

India and Singapore share long-standing cultural, commercial and strategic relations, with Singapore being a part of the "Greater India" cultural and commercial region.[citation needed] More than 300,000 people of Indian origin live in Singapore. Following its independence in 1965, Singapore was concerned with China-backed communist threats as well as domination from Malaysia and Indonesia and sought a close strategic relationship with India, which it saw as a counterbalance to Chinese influence and a partner in achieving regional security. Singapore had always been an important strategic trading post, giving India trade access to the Far East. Although the rival positions of both nations over the Vietnam War and the Cold War caused consternation between India and Singapore, their relationship expanded significantly in the 1990s; Singapore was one of the first to respond to India's "Look East" Policy of expanding its economic, cultural and strategic ties in Southeast Asia to strengthen its standing as a regional power.

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Full Coverage:
Many opportunities in India amid challenges: PM Lee
Singapore's contributions to India have benefits back home: PM Lee
A principled approach to diplomacy
Singaporeans have benefited from long-standing India ties, says PM Lee
Rajasthan, Singapore ink pacts on tourism and urban devpt
New Stakeholders Help Deepen India and Singapore Relations
Rajasthan inks deal with Singapore to boost tourism
Singapore PM inaugurates tourism training Centre in Udaipur
India, Singapore vow to fight those who encourage & sponsor terrorism
Singapore, Rajasthan ink MoUs on tourism
Singapore, Rajasthan sign two MOUs on tourism, urban solutions
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong meets Vasundhara Raje
India a land of opportunities despite challenges, says PM Lee Hsien Loong
Singapore and Rajasthan deepen ties on trade, tourism
PM Lee launches Singapore's second skills training centre in India
Singapore plants seed for tourism skills training in Udaipur
India must make 'strategic decision' to open up economy: PM Lee
Over-regulation a roadblock for firms venturing into India: PM Lee
Singapore PM comes to India bearing a warning
Singapore to help Rajasthan in destination branding
Lifting tax exemption on capital gains poses risk: PM
PM Lee declines VIP motorcade, opts for bus ride to hotel instead
PM Lee broke with tradition and took chartered bus in India like
Singapore PM opts for Bus Journey in India - Tupaki.com
Not VIP, but aam aadmi: Singapore PM opts for a bus
Singapore PM breaks tradition, takes bus to Delhi hotel
Singapore PM's plane returns to Delhi due to bad weather
India, Singapore Must Focus On Combating Terrorism: Mukherjee
Singapore's Prime Minister welcomed at The Celebration Mall
Singapore PM Lee Hsien Loong meets Vasundhara Raje
CapitaLand celebrates 10 years in India with new malls
PM Lee launches Singapore's second skills training centre in India
'Stable & constructive' relationship bet India & Pakistan needed: PM Lee
India must 'reimagine' its position in global economy: PM Lee
Singapore businesses' interest in India growing
The new normal of Singapore's relations with China
Singapore PM vows enhanced ties with India to fight terrorism
India needs to remove bottlenecks: Singapore PM
Singapore-India tourism training centre launched in 'Venice of the East'
Singapore's Lee urges stagnating Japan to get bold
Singapore and Rajasthan deepen ties on trade, tourism
Singapore to Rajasthan
Double whammy moving our funds overseas & signing-off our jobs to FTs
India needs to remove bottlenecks: Singapore PM
Singapore a 'firm believer' in India: PM Lee
PM Lee launches Singapore's second skills training centre in India
Singapore a 'firm believer' in India: PM Lee
Straits Times: Singapore, India to be strategic partners
High Commission of the Republic of Singapore - New Delhi
Singapore Relations - Welcome to High Commission of India
Bilateral Trade - Welcome to High Commission of India in Spore
Welcome to High Commission of India in Singapore
Venture to India with IE Singapore - India - Venture Overseas
Straits Times: Singapore, India to be strategic partners
India-Singapore strategic partnership | The Diplomat
Singapore, India sign strategic partnership to boost cooperation
Singapore, India elevate ties to 'strategic partnership' with signing
What to expect from the India-Singapore ′strategic partnership
India–Singapore relations - Wikipedia
Singapore, India deepen ties with Strategic Partnership, Gov
India, Singapore enter into strategic partnership - The Hindu
Singapore Relations - Welcome to High Commission of India
Singapore, India sign pact to elevate ties | TODAYonline


Singapore to become hub for Indian diaspora

SINGAPORE: Emeritus Senior Minister (ESM) Goh Chok Tong, who is on a visit to India from December 3 to 6, called on Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in New Delhi on Wednesday.

A Foreign Affairs Ministry statement said they reaffirmed the excellent relations between Singapore and India.

They also noted that Singapore and India will commemorate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of bilateral relations in 2015, and looked forward to the reciprocal state visits by the presidents of both countries that year.

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Singapore, India And CECA
Business Standard, 26 May 2013

The India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) seems to have reached a blind alley with the Singapore government’s insistence on maintaining higher standards for Indian banks operating there and constant refusal to give more market access to Indian professionals.

Commerce and industry minister Anand Sharma had recently visited Singapore for the second review of the CECA, which came into effect in August 2005, but the meeting remained inconclusive.

“The issue has been raised strongly by India at each and every round of discussions under the second CECA review. A favourable resolution of this issue is a must-have for India,” the official added

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related:
Singapore - Isreal Bilateral Ties
Singapore - China Bilateral Ties
Singapore-India Relations
Singapore-China-US Relations
"Singapore - US" Bilateral Ties