Singapore: India and Singapore signed a joint declaration on strategic partnership and nine bilateral accords on Tuesday, the second day of Prime Minister Narendra Modi's visit to this city state.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi with his Singapore counterpart Lee Hsien Loong while signing agreements in Singapore. Pic/PTI
Modi and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong signed the joint declaration on strategic partnership to elevate 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", an official statement said. "The strategic partnership is also a framework to contribute to greater regional stability and growth," it added.
Besides this, two agreements on defence cooperation and loan of artifacts from India to Singapore, two executive programme/operationalisation documents on arts and culture, and white-shipping, and five memorandums of agreement (MoUs) on cyber security, civil aviation, knowledge exchange in the field of planning, urban planning, and combating drug trafficking were also signed.
The agreement on defence cooperation enhances cooperation in the field by providing for defence ministersÂ’ dialogue, joint exercises between armed forces, and cooperation between defence industries to identify areas of co-production and co-development, the statement said. The second agreement "extends the loan of Indian artifacts to the Asian Civilisations Museum of Singapore".
The operationalisation document on arts and culture is on an "executive programme on cooperation in the fields of the arts, heritage, archives and library" between the Indian and Singaporean governments for the years 2015-2018. The second operationalisation document has been signed following the technical agreement on sharing white-shipping or commercial shipping information about movement of cargo ships between the Indian and Singapore navies signed on July 21, 2015.
"Following the signing of technical agreement between the two navies on sharing white-shipping information in July 2015, both navies have established a two-way linkage. This has enhanced bilateral cooperation in the area of maritime security," the statement said. The MoU on cyber security was signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-In) and the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SingCERT),
"The MoU promotes closer cooperation and exchange of information pertaining to cyber security between the computer emergency response teams of the two countries by establishment of a broader framework for future dialogue; exchange of information on cyber-attacks; research collaboration in smart technologies; exchange of information on prevalent cyber security policies and best practices as well as professional exchanges," the statement said.
The MoU on civil aviation "facilitates mutual cooperation in a number of mutually agreed areas of civil aviation services and airport management beginning with Jaipur and Ahmedabad airports". The third MoU promotes knowledge and information exchange in areas such as urban planning, waste water management, solid waste management and public-private partnerships between India's NITI Aayog and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE).
The MoU on combating drug "facilitates and enhances cooperation by exchange of information on trends in the illicit manufacture and those arrested on drug trafficking charges and establishes direct contact points" between the Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore. "Capacity building, skill upgrading and knowledge development are also identified as areas of cooperation," the statement said.
The fifth MoU was signed between the Town and Country Planning Organisation of India and the Singapore Cooperation Enterprise in Capacity Building in the field of urban planning and governance. It provides for participation of government officials from India in capacity-building programmes in areas such as urban planning and management. The documents were signed following bilateral talks between Modi and Lee here.
After the signing of the documents, external affairs ministry spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted that the two prime ministers noted the importance of culture between the two countries and encouraged more exhibitions, exchanges and interactions. Modi and Lee noted their shared interest in furthering cooperation in the areas of science and technology, particularly in space, biomedicine and ayurveda, the spokesperson added.
The two prime ministers also released two postal stamps showing Rashtrapati Bhavan and Istana, the Singaporean presidential palace, to mark 50 years of diplomatic relations between the two countries. Earlier on Tuesday, Modi was accorded a ceremonial welcome at Istana following which he met Singapore President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong. Modi arrived in Singapore from Malaysia on Monday on a bilateral visit in the second and last leg of his four-day visit to southeast Asia.