The Straits Times says

Adding warmth to already close ties

With no significant issues between them, Singapore's relationship with India is among the strongest the Republic has with major countries it deals with. India's peripatetic Prime Minister Narendra Modi is a leader whose instincts to fast-track development in his home state Gujarat caught Singapore's eye very early on. It proved well-founded. By the time Mr Modi moved to national leadership in 2014, after 12 years as chief minister of Gujarat, his state had won the moniker "Guangdong of India". Subsequently, his decision to turn India's Look East foreign policy into an Act East policy has been well-received around the region and an idea whose time has come.

Hence, Mr Modi's official visit to Singapore last week, during which he delivered the keynote address at the 17th Shangri-La Dialogue of security chiefs, was not about fixing critical issues as much as cementing a strong and multi-faceted relationship. On the economic side, the 13-year-old CECA, or Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement, has concluded its Second Review. On the strategic front, the logistics cooperation agreement between both navies furthers a strategic engagement that began as annual joint exercises a quarter-century ago. A slew of other agreements are on the cards, including a revised air services accord. With each passing day, Singapore, as Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran put it, is getting "India ready".


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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 05, 2018, with the headline 'Adding warmth to already close ties'. Print Edition | Subscribe