India's Involvement with Singapore
India and Singapore share long-standing cultural, commercial and strategic relations, with Singapore being a part of the "Greater India" cultural and commercial region. More than 300,000 people of Indian origin live in Singapore.
Following its independence in 1965, Singapore was concerned with China-backed communist threats as well as domination from Malaysia and Indonesia and sought a close strategic relationship with India, which it saw as a counter-balance to Chinese influence and a partner in achieving regional security. Singapore had always been an important strategic trading post, giving India trade access to the Malay Archipelago and the Far East. Although the rival positions of both nations over the Vietnam War and the Cold War caused consternation between India and Singapore, their relationship expanded significantly in the 1990s; Singapore was one of the first to respond to India's "Look East" Policy of expanding its economic, cultural and strategic ties in Southeast Asia to strengthen its standing as a regional power.
Singapore is the 2nd largest source of investment in India and the largest amongst ASEAN member nations. It is also India's 8th biggest trading partner in 2010-11. Its cumulative investment in India totals US$9.7 billion in 2010. India's economic liberalisation and its "Look East" policy have led to a major expansion in bilateral trade, which grew from USD 5.4 billion in 2001 to US$ 15.7 billion in 2006 - a 300% growth in span of five years - and to US$ 24 billion in 2010. Singapore accounts for 31% of India's trade with ASEAN member nations and 3% of its total foreign trade. India’s main exports to Singapore in 2011 included refined petroleum products, gemstones, jewellery and metals and its imports from Singapore included refined petroleum products, office machine parts and electronic goods.
In 2005, both nations signed the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The CECA eliminated tariff barriers, double taxation, duplicate processes and regulations and provided unhindered access and cooperation between the banks and financial institutions of Singapore and India. The CECA also advanced bilateral cooperation over education, science and technology, intellectual property, aviation and relaxed visa regulations for Indian professionals in information technology, medicine, engineering and financial fields to emigrate and work in Singapore. In 2011, India is Singapore's 5th biggest tourist destination and more than 8,60,000 Indians visited Singapore in that year. Both nations have worked to collaborate on aviation, aerospace engineering, space programmes, information technology, biotechnology and energy.