Singapore, August 19 (ANI): India and Singapore on Friday held the 16th round of Foreign Office Consultations and discussed ways to further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries.
The Indian delegation was led by Secretary (East) Saurabh Kumar and the Permanent Secretary to Singapore Albert Chua led the Singapore delegation.
"Productive and forward looking discussions to further strengthen the strategic partnership at the 16th Foreign Office Consultation today led by Secretary(East) @AmbSaurabhKumar and Permanent Secretary Mr Albert Chua, " the High Commission of India in Singapore tweeted.
The two countries held the 15th round of Foreign Office Consultations in August, 2021, in a virtual format. The Indian delegation was led by Riva Ganguly Das, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs and the Singapore delegation was led by Chee Wee Kiong, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore.
As per the MEA statement, both sides reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations and expressed their satisfaction that despite the pandemic, considerable substance and content had been added to the bilateral relationship, especially in trade and defence cooperation. The delegation discussed ways to further strengthen economic engagement between both countries.
Notably, India-Singapore relations are based on shared values and approaches, economic opportunities, and convergence of interests on key issues. Political engagement is regular. The defence relations are particularly strong. Economic and technological ties are extensive and growing.
Additionally, the cultural and human links between both nations are very vibrant.
There are more than 20 regular bilateral mechanisms, dialogues, and exercises.
There is great convergence on a broad range of international issues and both are members of a number of forums, including the East Asia Summit, G20, Commonwealth, IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association) and IONS (Indian Ocean Naval Symposium).
Singapore is India's 6th largest trade partner (2020-21) with a share of 3.2 per cent of India's overall trade. In 2021-22 (April - September 2021) bilateral trade stood at USD 14.2 billion.
In 2020-21, bilateral trade stood at USD 21.98 billion. The cumulative FDI inflows from Singapore to India stood at USD 118.39 billion (April 2000 -June 2021) which is 22 pc of total FDI inflows in India. Singapore was the largest source of FDI in India in 2018-19, 2019-20, and 2020-21.
During the second wave of the pandemic, Singapore's position as a logistic hub enabled both the public and private sectors to source emergency relief supplies such as oxygen- tanks, cylinders, concentrators, and ventilators among others from Singapore to India.
Till the end of June 2021, 26 Indian Air Force sorties and 4 Indian Navy Ships transported substantial quantities of these items from Singapore to India.
The close ties between India and Singapore have a history rooted in strong commercial, cultural and people-to-people links across a millennium.
India and Singapore added new momentum and direction to their Strategic Partnership in 2018, anchored in the official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore from May 31 to June 2, and his second visit on November 14-15 for attending the ASEAN-India and related Summits. (ANI).