India-Singapore Relations: Constructing a "New" Bilateral Relationship
- Contemporary Southeast Asia: A Journal of International and Strategic Affairs
- ISEAS–Yusof Ishak Institute
- Volume 32, Number 1, April 2010
- pp. 70-97
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For much of their pre-independence history, India and Singapore maintained close relations. As a trading post established by the British East India Company in 1819, Singapore was directly administered by British India, and official linkages continued to exist even after Singapore was put under the purview of the British Colonial Office in 1876. The colonial period also saw significant immigration from British India into Singapore. However, in the post-independence phase, relations between the two states generally cooled in the context of the Cold War. Nevertheless, over the past fifteen years, bilateral relations have experienced an upswing, characterized by collaboration across a range of areas. This paper examines recent trends in the India-Singapore relationship, looking at both "traditional" issue areas like economic and defence-strategic ties, as well as "non-traditional" issue areas like education-knowledge transfer and building societal-level links between the two countries. The paper also explores future possibilities and potential pitfalls in bilateral ties.