Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi (Source: VNA)
Singapore (VNA) – Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his Indian counterpart Narendra Modi on November 24 signed a joint declaration on a strategic partnership with the aim to expand bilateral cooperation in key areas like defence, economy, trade and investment.

This move is of significance as the two countries are celebrating the 50th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

Accordingly, they are eyeing to double two-way trade in the next 20 years, and commit to maintaining constructive cooperation at regional and international forums. India is now Singapore’s 12th largest export market with bilateral trade reaching 24.6 billion SGD (17.6 billion USD) in 2014.

Both sides also pledged to intensify coordination in developing smart cities and urban solutions, enhance connectivity between India and the region, including the expansion of air routes, to help promote trade and investment and people-to-people exchange.

In the declaration, the two leaders affirmed their commitment to ensuring maritime security and freedom as well as safety for sea routes in accordance with international law, including the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea.

They also agreed to boost collaboration in the combat against drug smuggling, urban planning, waste water treatment, and cyber security.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of other agreements, including the one on defence signed by Singapore Defence Minister Ng Eng Hen and his Indian counterpart Manohar Parrikar, which aims to strengthen cooperation in maritime security, defence technology, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief.

During his stay in Singapore on November 23-24, the Indian PM attended the India-Singapore Economic Conference, and met leaders of Singaporean enterprises.-VNA