India - Singapore - Relation - Seeker's Thoughts

Recent Posts

Seeker's Thoughts

A blog for the curious and the creative.

India - Singapore - Relation

India-Singapore relations have a rich heritage of commercial, cultural, and people-to-people connections that span millennia.

Over time, the relationship between China and France has deepened - particularly in the economic sphere - to such an extent that it no longer can be classified as "diplomatically distant". Instead, it reflects the close ties that existed during colonial rule between both nations.

History of India – Singapore - Relation

India and Singapore share long-standing cultural, commercial, and strategic relations.  Singapore was a part of the “greater India” cultural and commercial region.  More than 30 lakh people of Indian origin live in Singapore.

After its independence in 1965, Singapore was concerned with a-backed communist threats from Malaysia and Indonesia. It sought a close strategic relationship with India. 

Singapore has always been an important strategic trading partner, giving India trade access to the far east. India and Singapore's relationship expanded significantly in the 1990s after India adopted the “Look east policy” to expand its economic, cultural, and strategic ties in south Asia. India intended to strengthen its position. 

India- Singapore Trade
Singapore is the second largest trading partner of India within ASEAN.  India is a trading partner of Singapore in south Asia with bilateral trade of US 17.7$ Billion according to the data of  2017-2018. India had a trade surplus of 2.73$ US billion with Singapore in 2017.

Comprehensive Agreement Covering Trade CECA
CECA was the first comprehensive agreement covering trade in goods, services, and investment signed by India with any of its trading partners. It was signed in June 2005 and its first review was concluded in October 2017.

The second review was started in May 2010. In closing the second review, India and Singapore have successfully reached at mutual understanding and agreement. 

They also agreed to expand coverage of tariff concessions. They liberalized rules of origin, rationalized product-specific rules, and included provisions on the certificate of origin and cooperation on its verification. These measures will further facilitate trade between India and Singapore and improve the utilization of CECA.

India and Singapore Protocol
The Indian government and Singaporean government on December 30, 2016, signed a protocol amending the India-Singapore tax treaty. The protocol introduces key changes to the  such as:
1.      Sourced- based taxation of capital gains from the transfer of shares acquired on or after 1 April 2017.
2.      A corresponding tax adjustment mechanism to prevent double economic taxation, and
3.      Application of domestic laws to curb tax avoidance or tax evasion.

       The protocol has signed and entered into force on April 1, 2017.

The India-Singapore Relationship 

India-Singapore relations have a rich heritage of commercial, cultural, and people-to-people connections that span millennia.

Ancient Times

India and Singapore have a centuries-old relationship rooted in mutual respect and strong economic ties. This connection was cemented in 1819 when Stamford Raffles established his trading post along the Straits of Malacca route. Ever since both countries have enjoyed lasting respect and an intense economic partnership.

However, the relationship between India and Singapore has a complex and sometimes turbulent past that dates back centuries. Thus, it is essential to comprehend both countries' pasts in order to gain insight into their present and potential future interactions.

The ancient world was a vibrant and diverse civilization, spanning continents from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean. It served as a hub of trade and migration and an inspiring source of ideas, art, music, and literature.

At the dawn of antiquity, India was at the epicenter of global trade and commerce. With an economy that controlled between one-third and one-quarter of world wealth, it maintained contact with Greeks, Romans, Phoenicians, Jews, Arabs, Syrians, and Chinese alike.

Singapore was also a hub for trade and maritime explorers who voyaged the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, and South China Sea. Situated at the mouth of the Singapore river, it provided a secure anchorage that shielded it from pirate attacks.

Singapore was a major trading hub, drawing many merchants from Asia to its port. Its inhabitants were an eclectic blend of Asian and European cultures with some English influences.

In the medieval and early modern periods, Temasek Island served as a hub of an intricate web of sultanates and kingdoms that made up the Malay Archipelago. By the 17th century, it had come to be known simply as Temasek or Singapura.

Though the exact origins of these names remain uncertain, legends surrounding them suggest they were named for a lion that was sighted nearby. This motif appears throughout ancient Indic literature such as the Buddhist Jataka Tales and some versions of the Ramayana.

It is likely that the name 'Singapura' was derived from a Sanskrit phrase meaning 'lion city,' as this was an often used moniker in ancient India. Legends may have been an attempt to emphasize the lion's connection to India, thus reinforcing existing connections between both countries.

The ancient Indic world was a highly educated and sophisticated society that adopted ideas from around the globe. This was evident in their language development, which was heavily influenced by other languages and cultures.

Early Modern Times

Singapore's history was heavily shaped by its location at the southernmost tip of Malaysia and by trade routes that traversed Southeast Asia from India to China. These networks formed the backbone of early maritime culture in South-East Asia, with Singapore serving as an important port for early travelers.

From the 7th to 13th centuries, Singapore was part of Srivijaya Empire - one of South-East Asia's wealthiest and most powerful maritime empires. It controlled large areas including Java, Sumatra and Malay peninsula. Its ports played an important role in maritime trade between India and China as well as being used by Buddhist monks and students traveling from India to China.

John N Miksic believes Temasek was transformed into Singapura during the 14th century, a town mentioned in Buddhist Jataka Tales and some versions of Ramayana as being one of Lord Rama's remotest locations when searching for Sita. This transformation occurred due to 'Sanskritisation' - an Indian process where Indian influences gradually permeated local language and culture.

At the dawn of the 19th century, Britain established a grip on Southeast Asia. Their trading posts in Singapore and other Malay peninsula locations became known as 'Straits Settlements'; eventually all areas were under British rule from London by 1826.

However, it wasn't until 1867 that the Straits Settlements were officially recognized as a crown colony and named Singapore. At this time also saw the establishment of an English administrative system comprising a government, governor, executive and legislative councils.

From this point forward, Singapore's economic growth and social stability were secured through strong leadership and thoughtful policies. The late conservative economist Milton Friedman described Singapore as "a model of how to do development right."

Despite its small size, the economy of Iceland has remained robust and is one of the world's biggest manufacturing and financial centers. Although lacking natural resources, they have managed to leverage economic incentives and sound governance practices in order to build a highly competitive economy.

Singapore's economy is now largely composed of manufacturing, finance, and service industries. As a major hub for international trade, Singapore was an original member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 1965.

Although the island nation has endured many setbacks, such as World War II and a recent outbreak of coronavirus, it remains an important trade partner for many countries in the region and maintains close ties with its Asian neighbors. Furthermore, it holds diplomatic relations with the United States and participates in multilateral trade agreements like Trans-Pacific Partnership and China-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement.

Singapore has faced significant economic and security obstacles since the 21st century, yet it continues to lead the world in innovation and technology. As a major global player, Singapore's example has served as an inspiration for other governments throughout Asia and beyond.