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“Singapore makes the Indian connection”
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“Singapore makes the Indian connection”

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Kevin Tan picSingapore is in a new age of cooperation with India, writes Kevin Tan, 19, a Commonwealth Correspondent from Singapore, who describes the potential for partnerships as Singapore invests in the rising Indian economy. 

On  24th November 2015, India and Singapore elevated their bilateral ties by signing ten agreements/memorandums of understanding. These agreements called for tighter economic and military cooperation and closer cooperation in areas such as shipping and aviation. According to the joint declaration released by the countries, the multifaceted nature of the agreements will help forge a strategic partnership that will contribute to greater regional stability and growth.

Aside from being former British colonies, both India and Singapore share long-standing bilateral relations. These historical and cultural relations have helped bring the two nations closer together. As a young Singaporean, I am excited about what benefits and developments can be brokered for my country through enhanced relations with India.

As a young nation with limited natural resources, Singapore is highly dependent on external trade. Thus, aside from working with the rising giant China, one should not forget the other giant in South Asia as well. In 2005, Singapore signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with India, and at present, we are India’s largest Foreign Direct Investor. The numerous joint projects and agreements signed between our nations have heralded a new age of cooperation and exchange.

India has done very well in the field of science and technology. Her world-renowned Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) have helped produce numerous techno-preneurs and business leaders. A notable example is Mr. Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google, who graduated from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kharagpur. Numerous Indians have made their mark in the business world. Similar to Mr. Pichai being made CEO of Google, Mr. Satya Nadella was made CEO of Microsoft in February 2014. Under his leadership, Microsoft seems to be ushering a brand new age of innovation. Recent product launches such as the Surface Book and Windows 10 suggests that Redmond still possesses a vigorous and innovative spirit rather than stagnation.

Closer to home, India is also home to the Tata Group, an Indian multinational conglomerate with annual revenues totalling nearly a hundred billion dollars. One of its most prominent subsidiaries is Tata Motors, which  developed the world’s cheapest car, the Tata Nano, back in 2008.

These massive achievements in the world of science, engineering, and technology are no mean feat, especially for a developing country such as India. The fact that India has accomplished so much suggests that when its potential is fully realised, India will be a powerful economic force to be reckoned with.

Building deeper ties with India will be a great way for Singapore to participate in the exchange of ideas and talents. Singapore’s success in waste and water management areas could see tremendous  application within the Indian subcontinent, while India’s advances in science and technology could help drive and power Singapore’s technology fields into the next generation. In fact, this has already happened. On 16th  December 2015, six satellites made in Singapore were successfully launched into space from India. These satellites will be utilised for disaster and haze monitoring within the Southeast Asian region. On a broader level, the launch of these satellites marks a significant milestone for Singapore’s fledgling space industry. This achievement would not have been possible if not for the assistance of India and the Indian Space Research Organisation.

Back in 1993, Singapore’s then Prime Minister, Mr. Goh Chok Tong, spoke about sparking an “Indian fever” through the development of our nations’ bilateral relations/agreements. This announcement occurred way before India’s swift rise in recent years, a testament to the foresight of Singapore’s leaders. Our ties with India cannot be for diplomatic purposes alone. There is much to be gained for both countries through deeper economic and political cooperation. I look forward to seeing more joint projects being launched as both India and Singapore march together towards prosperity.

References

Photo credit: http://mrg.bz/XXehqP

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About me: I am your typical Singaporean son. Currently doing my national service, I enjoy reading, writing and watching movies. I look forward to pursuing a degree in Business Administration at the National University of Singapore under a university scholarship in 2017.

I was imbued with a passion for learning at Hwa Chong Institution, where I was exposed to a wide variety of subjects and activities such as economics, English literature and science research. It is this passion for knowledge and learning that informs my interdisciplinary approach to writing.

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Opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of the Commonwealth Youth Programme. Articles are published in a spirit of dialogue, respect and understanding. If you disagree, why not submit a response.
To learn more about becoming a Commonwealth Correspondent please visit: http://www.yourcommonwealth.org/submit-articles/commonwealthcorrespondents/

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