International Relations - Current Affairs for May,2017

Month and Year:   
▼ 24th bilateral exercise between India and Singapore: SIMBEX   [05-19-17]

The 24th bilateral exercise involving Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy has commenced in South China Sea.

SIMBEX stands for “Singapore-India Maritime Bilateral Exercises.”

The exercise will be held from May 18, 2017 to May 24, 2017.

This edition of the bilateral exercise aims at increasing the interoperability among the two navies as well as developing a common understanding and procedures among the two navies for maritime security operations.

The major thrust of the exercise will lie on Anti-Submarine Operations (ASN), integrated operations with Surface, Air and Sub-surface Forces, Air Defence and Surface Encounter Exercises.

The exercise would be conducted into two phases-the Harbour Phase and the Sea Phase.

The Indian & Republic of Singapore Navy began participating in the bilateral exercises in 1994.

Since then the two navies share a long standing relationship with regular professional interactions that include exchange programs, staff talks and training courses.

The earlier edition of the bilateral exercise, SIMBEX-16 was held at Visakhapatnam in Bay of Bengal.

▼ India inks 5 agreements with Palestine   [05-17-17]

India and Palestine have signed five agreements during the 4 day visit of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas to India.

This is Abbas’s fifth visit to India and the third state visit after his earlier visits in 2008 and 2012.

These 5 MoUs signed were on visa exemption for diplomatic passport holder, agriculture cooperation, cooperation in field of IT & Electronics, health sector and cooperation in the field of youth affairs and sports.

India has called for early resumption of talks between Palestine and Israel and hoped to see a sovereign, independent, united and viable Palestine, co-existing peacefully with Israel.

Palestine for its part has thanked India for supporting it in various international forums. Palestine also hopes that India can play a vital role in Middle East Peace process.

The Palestinian President also condemned terrorism in all its forms and manifestations and called for regional and international efforts to fight the menace.

India is assisting developmental projects in Palestine.

It has been contributing to material & technical assistance and is building a techno Park in Ramallah at the cost of $12 million.

Both the countries also called for enhancing cultural exchanges between the two sides. India has sought Palestine’s participation in the International Yoga Day to be observed next month.

Indo-Palestine Relations

  • India and Palestine enjoy a long standing friendship.
  • In 1947, India registered its vote against he partition of Palestine at the United Nations General Assembly.
  • In 1974, India became the first Non-Arab State to recognize PLO as sole and legitimate representative of the people of Palestine.
  • In 2012, India co-sponsored a resolution that resulted in up-gradation of the status of Palestine to a “non-member state”.
  • In 2014, India voted in favour of Palestine at the UN Human Rights Council. In 2015, India supported installation of Palestinian flag at the UN Premises similar to the flags of the member states.

▼ India, Chile PTA comes into effect   [05-17-17]

The expanded Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between India and Chile will come into effect on 16 May 2017.

According to Union Ministry of Commerce & Industry, the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between India and Chile was first signed on 8 March 2006, which came into force from August 2007.

The original PTA had a limited number of tariff lines wherein the two nations extended Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) on 8 March 2006 which came into force with effect from August 2007.

India’s offer list to Chile consisted of only 178 tariff lines whereas Chile’s offer list to India contained 296 tariff lines at the 8-digit level.

Later, India and Chile signed an agreement on the expansion of the India-Chile PTA on 6 September 2016, which will be implemented from 16 May 2017.

This expanded PTA was approved by the Union Cabinet in April 2016. Under this trade agreement, both the countries have offered to lower or eliminate duties on a number of items traded with each other.

Chile has offered duty concessions on about 1798 goods including agri-items, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, textiles, iron and steel items, to Indian exporters as compared to 178 items earlier.

The tariff lines with Margin of Preference (MoP) offered by Chile will range from 30 per cent -100 per cent.

India has offered concessions to Chile on 1031 products including vegetable oil, processed food, pharma, plastic and pearls as against 296 earlier. Around 96 per cent of the total bilateral trade has now been covered by this agreement.

The expanded PTA would immensely benefit both sides as a wide array of concessions has been offered by the two countries on a number of products which will facilitate more trade.

The tariff lines with Margin of Preference (MoP) offered by India will range from 10 per cent-100 per cent.

These tariff lines were based on HS 2012 when the negotiations had been concluded.

With the implementation of the HS 2017 Nomenclature with effect from 1 January 2017, both sides have aligned their Annexes on India’s Schedule of Tariff Concessions, Chile’s Schedule of Tariff Concessions and the Schedule on Rules of Origin as per HS 2017 Nomenclature for the issue of Notification.

This would facilitate exporters of both sides to take the advantage of tariff concessions as per the expanded PTA immediately which covers around 96 per cent of bilateral trade.

▼ CORPAT: India’s 29th bilateral exercise with Indonesia   [05-10-17]

The 29th India–Indonesia CORPAT has commenced at Port Blair under the aegis of Andaman and Nicobar Command. The bilateral exercise is scheduled to be held from 9th– 25th May.

The Indonesian Naval Ship KRI Sutedi Senoputra has arrived to take part in the 29th series of IND–INDO CORPAT.

An Indonesian Maritime Patrol Aircraft has also arrived with the Indonesian Naval delegation.

Defence relations between India and Indonesia are growing steadily with regular joint activities and interactions between the Armed Forces of the two countries.

The bilateral exercise aims to enhance mutual understanding and inter–operability between the two navies.

CORPAT is a bilateral maritime exercise held between India and Indonesia under the broad ambit of strategic partnership.

Both countries have been carrying out maritime exercise twice a year from 2002.

As per the exercise, search and rescue operations are carried out and the two navies institute measures for vessels indulged in unlawful activities as well as control pollution.

The basic aim of CORPAT is to keep the vital part of the Indian Ocean Region (IOR) safe and secure for commercial shipping, International trade and legitimate marine activities.

CORPAT has helped to boost understanding and interoperability between the two navies and also has promoted maritime security in the region.

Indonesia: Know More

  • Capital and largest city: Jakarta
  • Currency: Indonesian rupiah
  • President: Joko Widodo