Joint Statement by the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of India

01 Jun 2018

Source: PMO


Prime Minister of the Republic of India, His Excellency Narendra Modi made an Official Visit to the Republic of Singapore from 31 May to 2 June 2018 at the invitation of Prime Minister of the Republic of Singapore, His Excellency Lee Hsien Loong. During the visit, Prime Minister Modi called on President of the Republic of Singapore, Her Excellency Halimah Yacob, and had a bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Lee. Prime Minister Modi also received a call from Emeritus Senior Minister of the Republic of Singapore, Mr Goh Chok Tong.

Prime Minister Modi addressed a business, innovation and community event “India and Singapore: Stepping into the Future – Partnership for Enterprise and Innovation.” Prime Minister Modi also visited the Nanyang Technological University, Indian Heritage Centre, Changi Naval Base and other sites highlighting cultural and people to people links between India and Singapore.

At their meeting on 1 June 2018, Prime Minister Modi and Prime Minister Lee reviewed and expressed satisfaction over the progress in the bilateral relationship since the signing of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership on 24 November 2015 during Prime Minister Modi’s previous Official Visit to Singapore. They welcomed the regular high-level visits and consultations between India and Singapore. These have served to strengthen all-round cooperation, including in the areas of strategic and security cooperation; economic relations; technology and innovation partnership; and, human and cultural links.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Lee for his visit to India in January 2018 to co-chair the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, and to attend India’s Republic Day along with other ASEAN leaders. The two Prime Ministers expressed confidence that the ASEAN-India partnership will continue to strengthen. 

Prime Minister Lee thanked Prime Minister Modi for accepting his invitation to deliver the keynote address at this year’s International Institute for Strategic Studies Shangri-La Dialogue (SLD). Prime Minister Modi will be the first Indian Prime Minister to speak at the SLD, and by doing so, reflects India’s commitment to promoting peace and stability in the region.

Both Prime Ministers welcomed the exchange of the Implementing Arrangement between the Navies of both countries Concerning Mutual Coordination, Logistics and Services Support, and called for the early renewal of the Army Bilateral Agreement. 

The Prime Ministers commended the Armed Forces for maintaining a high level of annual exercises, goodwill visits and professional exchanges. Both Prime Ministers also looked forward to the 25th and enhanced edition of bilateral annual naval exercises SIMBEX.  Prime Minister Modi thanked Singapore for its participation in IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium), and Exercise MILAN.  

Appreciating India’s leading role in the Indian Ocean region, both sides agreed to India’s proposal for continuous and institutionalised naval engagements in their shared maritime space including establishing maritime exercises with like-minded regional / ASEAN partners. The Prime Ministers emphasised the importance of international cooperation in tackling transnational security threats and in particular measures to collectively tackle the threat of terrorism.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the conclusion of the Second Review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, which provides the foundation for bilateral economic cooperation. The Prime Ministers also welcomed the signing of the Mutual Recognition Agreement (MRA) in Nursing.  

The Prime Ministers recognised the importance of Financial Technology (FinTech) and innovation as the new driver of the bilateral economic partnership. 

The Prime Ministers welcomed the establishment of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on FinTech led by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) and the Department of Financial Services (DFS), the Ministry of Finance, India, and the relevant government agencies on both sides. The JWG would promote knowledge exchange in best practices, encourage cooperation between FinTech firms, develop Application Programming Interfaces to promote interoperability between both markets, increase cross-border linkages between payment systems in Singapore and India, and internationalisation of the India Stack, an innovative infrastructure that enables digital services delivery.

The Prime Ministers welcomed the announcement of the partnership between NETS and National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI), starting with the launch of the RuPay card in Singapore. They also welcomed the agreement between NETS and NPCI to extend Bharat Interface for Money (BHIM) to recognise SGQR for payment in Singapore, and called for accelerated discussion on arrangements to support cross-border payments. They further welcomed the international launch of India’s Unified Payments Interface (UPI) based cross-border remittance app in Singapore, which will facilitate remittances by Indian workers. 
The Prime Ministers reaffirmed existing cooperation in Smart Cities and urban solutions, both bilaterally and to support the development of ASEAN Smart Cities Network.  They welcomed the conclusion of the Urban Planning and Governance Programme organised by the Centre for Liveable Cities in partnership with the Town and Country Planning Organisation to train 100 Indian officials in Singapore. They also looked forward to the commencement of development on the Amaravati Capital City Project undertaken by the Amaravati Development Partners constituted by the Singapore Consortium and Andhra Pradesh Amaravati Development Corporation. The Prime Ministers lauded progress in discussions between Singapore and Maharashtra on collaboration opportunities in Maharashtra’s urban infrastructure, port and logistics, and aviation sectors.

The Prime Ministers noted the signing of 13 agreements at the “India and Singapore: Stepping into Future” business event on 31 May 2018, in areas such as investment promotion, start-ups, FinTech, innovation, skills, artificial intelligence, data analytics and water. The two leaders welcomed the India-Singapore Entrepreneurship Bridge (InSpreneur), an Indian initiative, which has already held two editions in 2018, to connect government agencies, startups, innovators, incubators, accelerators and investors in the two countries. They also welcomed the announcement of the Singapore-India Incubation Programme by Startup SG. The programme, led by Enterprise Singapore, aims to provide exposure and support for start-ups keen to explore both markets. The list of agreements signed at the business event is at ANNEX A.

Recognising the growth in air links between the two countries, both sides expressed commitment to begin bilateral negotiations as per India's National Civil Aviation Policy, 2016. 

The Prime Ministers reaffirmed the progress in skills development, and looked forward to the operationalisation of the North East Skills Centre in Guwahati, Assam later this year. This follows from the earlier launch of skills centres in New Delhi and Udaipur, Rajasthan. 

The Prime Ministers noted that relevant agencies of the two countries are already working on cooperation in areas of Science and Technology. The Prime Ministers welcome the signing of agreements in higher education, research, artificial intelligence, innovation, and space, at the Nanyang Technological University (NTU). The list of agreements signed at NTU is at ANNEX B

The Prime Ministers recognised the opportunities in Third Country Cooperation, emanating from the strategic partnership and economic complementarities between Singapore and India. Possible areas of cooperation include digital connectivity and platforms, skills enhancement, human resource development and basic infrastructure.

Prime Minister Modi appreciated the Government of Singapore’s support for the Regional India Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD) in January 2018 in Singapore, which was held as part of commemoration of 25 years of ASEAN-India partnership. The event showcased ancient links between India and South East Asia, progress made in recent years and opportunities for further strengthening relations between India and Southeast Asian nations and ASEAN. 

The Prime Ministers welcomed the organisation of various ASEAN- India commemorative activities in India, which provided a platform for interaction in arts, culture, and youth spheres between people of India and ASEAN Member States including Singapore. 

The two leaders agreed to further intensify the strong human, spiritual and cultural links between India and Singapore. Prime Minister Modi expressed deep appreciation for Singapore’s harmonious multicultural society that has supported and provided opportunities for all communities, including the Indian community, to be part of the Singaporean society.  

The Prime Ministers expressed convergence of views on various regional and international issues, including the regional security situation. Both sides reiterated their desire and determination to work together to maintain peace, stability, growth and prosperity in the region and beyond. Both sides also 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 Prime Ministers recognised 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.

The 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 reiterating the importance of the conclusion 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 (UN), World Trade Organization (WTO), Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Non- Aligned Movement (NAM), Commonwealth and related forums and as well as other regional cooperation mechanisms.

Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed Singapore’s continuing support for India as a permanent member in a reformed United Nations Security Council.

India welcomed the progress towards realisation of the ASEAN Community and expressed full support for ASEAN's unity, Centrality and leadership in the evolving regional architecture. Singapore welcomed and highlighted the vital role that India played in the regional architecture, especially through its participation in and support for the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF), ASEAN Defence Ministers Meeting Plus (ADMM Plus) and other platforms like the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM).

Prime Minister Lee looked forward to welcoming Prime Minister Modi back to Singapore for the 33rd ASEAN Summit and Related Summits in November 2018.

Following the fruitful discussion, both Prime Ministers witnessed the signing of eight agreements at the Istana. The list of agreements, which cover areas such as defence, FinTech, cyber security and public administration, is at ANNEX C.

Prime Minister Modi thanked Prime Minister Lee for the warmth of his hospitality and all the excellent arrangements made for the visit. Prime Minister Modi wished the friendly people of Singapore good health and success.  

1 June 2018

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