Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore H.E. Mr. Lee Hsien Loong made a Working Visit to the Republic of India from 3-7 October 2016 at the invitation of the Prime Minister of the Republic of India H.E. Shri Narendra Modi. The Prime Minister of Singapore was accompanied by Mrs Lee, Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry), Mr. S Iswaran, Acting Minister for Education (Higher Education and Skills) and Senior Minister of State for Defence, Mr. Ong Ye Kung, Senior Minister of State (Defence) & (Foreign Affairs), Dr. Mohamad Maliki Bin Osman, Members of Parliament, Ms. Denise Phua and Mr. Vikram Nair, and an official delegation.
During the visit, Prime Minister Lee called on the President of India H.E. Shri Pranab Mukherjee. He had a meeting with Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, who hosted a banquet in his honour. External Affairs Minister Smt. Sushma Swaraj, called on Prime Minister Lee. Prime Minister Lee also visited Udaipur, Rajasthan, from 5-6 October 2016.
The two Prime Ministers held wide-ranging discussions on bilateral, regional and multilateral issues in a warm, cordial and friendly atmosphere, reflecting the excellent bilateral ties. They reviewed and expressed satisfaction over the good progress in the bilateral relationship since the signing of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership on 24 November 2015 during the Official Visit of Prime Minister Modi to Singapore. Both Prime Ministers noted with satisfaction the good exchange of regular high level visits and consultations between India and Singapore which have served to strengthen all-round cooperation under the pillars of the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.
Both Prime Ministers reaffirmed the strong cooperation in the area of smart cities and urban solutions. They welcomed the collaboration between Singapore and various states including Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh and noted the successful launch of the Urban Planning and Governance Programme for Indian officials in September 2016.
The Prime Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to cooperate in skills development through knowledge sharing and capacity building, and look forward to the launch of the Centre of Excellence for Tourism Training in Rajasthan and collaboration to develop skills training in North East India.
The two Prime Ministers appreciated the significant progress made in defence cooperation since the signing of the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement in November 2015. They welcomed the inaugural India-Singapore Defence Ministers’ Dialogue held in Singapore on 3 June 2016 during which new areas of bilateral cooperation were explored.
The two Prime Ministers also noted the convening of the first Defence Industry Working Group in May 2016, the continued progress in cooperation in defence R&D and technology, regular joint military exercises and training between the Armies, Air Forces and Navies, service-to-service cooperation, naval ship visits, and the sharing of White-Shipping Information.
The two Prime Ministers expressed satisfaction at the ongoing cooperation to address common security concerns, such as in the areas of counter-terrorism, maritime security, cyber security and illicit drug trafficking.
The two Prime Ministers recognised the importance of further strengthening economic cooperation between India and Singapore and the many complementarities and opportunities that exist between the two countries. In this regard, they noted the holding of meetings by the Joint Working Group on Trade & Investment and the Financial Dialogue Preparatory Meeting as important initiatives as envisaged under the India-Singapore Strategic Partnership.
Prime Minister Modi welcomed the listing of Masala Bonds on the Singapore Exchange and briefed Prime Minister Lee about the efforts made to boost investments into India in the field of infrastructure development.
The two Prime Ministers recognized the importance of the bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in providing the foundation for economic cooperation. The Chief Negotiators would meet for an early conclusion of the Second Review.
To support growing economic links, the Prime Ministers also recognised the importance of exploring the expansion of air connectivity to support new and commercially viable air links between and beyond both countries, and to broaden cooperation in the aviation, maritime and logistics sectors, including through capacity building and the sharing of best practices.
The Prime Ministers also discussed furthering already strong economic ties and agreed to appoint senior ministers from both sides to explore new and innovative ways to cooperate and find win-win outcomes and to report back to the Prime Ministers.
The two Prime Ministers reaffirmed the significance of parliamentary exchanges between the two democracies. In this regard, they appreciated the Goodwill Visit by a Parliamentary Delegation from India to Singapore in April 2016 and visits by members of the India-Singapore Parliamentary Friendship Group to India on various occasions.
Welcoming the launch of six satellites of Singapore by Indian Space Research Organization’s Polar Satellite Launch Vehicle in December 2015, the two Prime Ministers hailed the growing cooperation between India and Singapore in space technology and stressed on the need for furthering cooperation in R&D.
Both sides shared convergence of views on various regional and international issues, including the regional security situation in Asia. Both sides reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in Asia and beyond.
Both sides reiterated their support for security, safety and freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded commerce, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 UNCLOS. Both sides also called on all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of actions that could escalate tensions in the region.
The two Prime Ministers recognized that terrorism continues to remain the single most significant threat to peace and stability and 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.
Prime Minister Lee expressed his condolences to the Indian Government and the families of the victims of the Uri attack, and stated that Singapore strongly condemns terrorist attacks of all forms.
The two Prime Ministers affirmed their resolve to fight against global terrorism, terror organisations and networks and all those who encourage, support and finance them. They called for reinvigorating multilateral action on terrorism, including through the finalisation and adoption of the Comprehensive Convention on International Terrorism in the United Nations at the earliest.
The Prime Ministers lauded the cooperation between both sides at regional and international fora and reaffirmed efforts to strengthen cooperation particularly in the United Nations, World Trade Organization, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and related forums and as well as other regional cooperation mechanisms.
India welcomed the realization of the ASEAN Community and expressed full support for ASEAN's centrality in the evolving regional structure. Singapore welcomed and highlighted the vital role that India played in the regional architecture, especially through its participation in and support for ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus), East Asia Summit (EAS), and Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).
Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed Singapore’s continuing support for India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.
The following bilateral documents were signed during the visit:
i. MoU in the field of Industrial Property Cooperation between Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion (DIPP) and Intellectual Property Office of Singapore.
ii. MoU on Collaboration in the Field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training between the National Skill Development Corporation and ITE Education Services, Singapore.
iii. MoU on Collaboration in the Field of Technical and Vocational Education and Training between the Government of Assam and ITE Education Services, Singapore
Prime Minister Lee expressed his gratitude for the warm reception and hospitality accorded to him and his delegation. He extended an invitation to Prime Minister Modi to visit Singapore at a mutually convenient date. Prime Minister Modi accepted the invitation. Dates for the visit will be finalized through diplomatic channels.
National Vice President,
Akhil Bhartiya Patarkar Manch.
The Editor New Delhi, India News
New Delhi-Agra,India News:
Vice President,Delhi Chapter,
The Newspaper Editor's Society.
CEO:Enkay Sagar Holdings P Ltd:
Former Secretary,Delhi Region
International Theosophical Society.
The Spiritual Motivator:Consultant.