India, Thailand and Singapore joined hands for their first-ever trilateral naval exercise in the Andaman Sea between September 16 and 20 with an eye on ensuring free and unhindered shipping flow through the Malacca Straits.
• Keen to cement its deep security ties in the region, India is hopeful that Malaysia and Indonesia will join the next naval exercises to ensure that sea lanes connecting the Indian Ocean with the Pacific are protected from any unilateral aggressive move.
What is the importance of Malacca Straits?
• As the main shipping channel between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean
• Piracy has been a problem in the strait.
India and Indonesia
• Strengthening engagement in South East Asia, India and Indonesia are expected to set up the first joint task force for better connectivity between the Andaman and Nicobar Islands and Banda Aceh.
• India and Indonesia have decided to join hands in building infrastructure in island territories such as Banda Aceh, which is merely 163 kilometres from Indira Point.
India and Singapore
• Singapore is a very important trading partner of India with a cumulative investment of $82.99 billion coming from the city nation between April 2000 and March 2019.
• The FDI flows from Singapore to India in the 2017-2018 fiscal were $12.2 billion and climbed to $16.3 billion in 2018-19.