Specific Countries and India – Laos Relations: East Asia in General

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Specific Countries

Singapore

India-Singapore Strategic Dialogue, constituted in 2007, to promote exchanges at a Track-II level

Economy

  • Is India’s largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN

  • Bilateral trade USD 23 bn in 2010

  • CECA signed in 2005

    • Was the first such agreement to be signed by India with any country

    • Integrates agreements on trade in goods and services, investment protection, and economic cooperation in fields like education, intellectual property and S&T

    • Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement implemented and periodically reviewed

  • Singapore has emerged as one of the largest sources of FDI inflow into India amounting to USD 11.64 bn during the period April 2000 to December 2010

  • This accounts for 9.46% of total FDI inflow to India

  • Indian FDI in Singapore for the year 2008 was USD 8.01 bn

Other Major Agreements

  • DTAA (1994)

  • Defence Cooperation Agreement (2003)

  • MOU on Foreign Service Consultations (1994)

  • Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty (2005)

Technology

ISRO is set to place Singapore’s first satellite in orbit soon

Culture/People-to-People/Diaspora

  • A large number of cultural societies promote Indian classical dance and arts

  • Deepawali is regarded as the premier Indian cultural celebration, on par with the Chinese New Year and Malay Hari Raya

  • In 2010 India introduced tourist visa-on-arrival for Singapore. (other countries for which this was introduced are Japan, New Zealand, Finland and Luxemburg)

Diaspora

  • Ethnic Indians constitute about 9.2% of the total population of 5.1 million

  • Third largest ethnic group after Chinese and Malays

  • Tamil is one of the four official languages of Singapore

  • Establishment of Indian education institutions like Global Indian International School, DAV, DPS, SP Jain Centre of Management.

Politics

Two (of 6) Presidents, 2 (of 4) senior ministers and 2 (of 9) Dy PM have been Indians. SR Nathan, an Indian, has been the longest serving President of Singapore

Arts

From 1979 to 2006, Indian Singaporeans have won 10, or 11.4% of the 88 cultural medallions conferred, the highest honour to artists given by the Singapore government

Business

In 2006, Forbes listed four ethnic Indians among the 40 largest private individual and family fortunes in Singapore, which is 10% of the list

  • SIMBEX maritime exercise

  • Singapore is stable and hence we can bank on it

  • Geostrategic presence

  • Singapore has invested in ports in India: Pipavav port, Tuticorin port

Table 3

Binders
Binders

Binders

Both are pluralistic societies and share common concerns in terrorism and religious extremism

Large Indian community in Singapore

Table 4

Positives
Positives

Positives

  1. Singapore PM Goh Chok Tong was awarded the Jawaharlal Nehru Award for International Understanding in 2004

India – Laos Relations

In September 2010, President Pratibha Patil visited Laos.

  • India to give monetary and technical assistance to Lao PDR

  • First tranche of $72.55 mn to be released for two power projects

  • Cultural exchange programme has been signed for 2011-13

  • ASI assistance in the restoration of the 6th century temple complex of Vat Phou in the province of Champassak

  • This site was designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2001

East Asia in General

  • Nalanda university project can be an important catalyzer in India-East Asia relations. At the East Asia Summit held in 2009 in Hua Hin in Thailand, the leaders endorsed and extended their support for the establishment of Nalanda University.

  • Through the university, academic and cultural exchange would increase.

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