Highlights

India and ASEAN nation Singapore are to hold maritime naval exercise called SIMBEX-20 in the Andaman Sea from 23 to 25 2020. Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy are to participate in this exercise. The naval exercise is being conducted since 1994 between India and Singapore. The SIMBEX exercise aims to enhance mutual inter-operability between both countries.

SIMBEX Exercise

In this exercise Indian Navy ships to participate are INS Rana (Rajput-class destroyer) along with Chetak helicopter (two ton class helicopter), Kamorta-class corvettes and INS Karmuk (Kora-class corvette). Also, submarine Sindhuraj (S57) (Sindhughosh-class diesel-electric submarine) and P81 (multimission maritime patrol aircraft) reconnaissance aircrafts are to participate.

India-Singapore Bilateral Defence Policy

In September 2020, 14th Defence Policy Dialogue of India and Singapore held. It was held under revised India-Singapore Defence Cooperation Agreement that was signed in 2015. During the bilateral dialogue, both countries agreed to enhance security partnership.

Backfrop

Both countries hold a strong long standing cultural, economic relation. Singapore is a part of Greater India.

What is Greater India?

It refers to the Indian subcontinent and the region surrounding India that has adopted Indian language and religions. These countries of Greater India are sanskritised. Greater India is also known as “Akhand Bharat”. It comprises of 6 bourdering countries (Pakistan, Bangladesh, Thailand, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Cambodia) and the coastal Asian countries of Indian Ocean.

India-Singapore Defence Relations

  • In 2003, India-Singapore signed Defence Cooperation Agreement that allowed Singapore to conduct training on Indian territory.
  • In 2017, Both sides signed Naval Cooperation Agreement that allowed both the countries to refuel, rearm and restock their ships in their military bases.
  • In 2018, The countries signed bilateral agreement for Naval Cooperation that gave Indian Naval ships access to the Changi Naval Base. The Changi Naval base is located near the disputed South China sea.

India-Singapore Bilateral Trade

India’s Look East Policy helped to boost trade between the countries and ASEAN countries, Singapore accounts to 38% of trade.

Singapore is Second largest trade partner of India among ASEAN nations. Bilateral trade expanded after the conclusion of India–Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement from $ 6.7 billion in FY 2004-05 to reach $ 17.67 billion in 2017-18. In 2017-18, India imports from Singapore were $7.47 billion and India exports to Singapore totaled $10.20 billion. In FY 2018- 19, the bilateral trade reached $15.4 billion till October.

Foreign Direct Investment from Singapore into India was $73.3 billion (till June 2018).

The bilateral trade includes 5-S Plank

  • Scale up Trade & Investment
  • Speed up Connectivity
  • Smart
  • Cities and Urban Rejuvenation
  • Skill development
  • State focus.

SIMBEX India-Singapore Naval Exercise SIMBEX India-Singapore Naval Exercise