Current Affairs – July 2012 Bilateral Affairs
- India, Indonesia Signed Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement: India and Indonesia signed an agreement to avoid double taxation and prevent fiscal evasion with respect to taxes on income on 27 July 2012. Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. R. M. Marty Natalegawa and his Indian counterpart S.M Krishna at the Hyderabad House in New Delhi signed the agreement. Apart from the agreement, both sides also signed the agreed minutes of the fourth Joint Commission Meeting between India and Indonesia. Both the countries, reviewed the entire state of bilateral relationship including trade and commerce. Two nations have also agreed to strengthen the bilateral relationship into a strategic partnership both countries share a warm relationship on account of the solid foundation of historical and cultural ties. Both countries are also hopeful of achieving the trade target of 25 billion US Dollars by 2015.
- Australia to restart uranium supply to India:
Months after reversing its policy of not selling uranium to India, Australia on 11th July, said it was in the process of working out internal arrangements to ensure supply of the yellowcake (Uranium) to New Delhi. In December last year, Australia’s ruling Labor led by Prime Minister Julia Gillard cleared the way for the Australian uranium to be exported to India after a strong debate on the floor of the party’s 46th national conference. Despite resistance from opponents, the landmark policy change was carried out, paving the way for the first Australian country-to-country agreement to sell yellowcake to a nation outside the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty. Australia has the world’s largest reserves of uranium and its ores are considered to be of superior quality among those found elsewhere across the globe. Currently, Australia exports uranium to China, Japan, Taiwan and the United States. However, it had earlier declined sale to India citing a policy that barred nuclear trade with countries that were not signatories to the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
- India, Singapore Signed Agreements and MoU :
India and Singapore signed three key bilateral agreements and a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on 11 July 2012, New Delhi. The agreements were signed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong. While the MoU was signed by Indian Labour Minister Malikarjun Kharge and Singapore Education Minister Heng Swee Keat.
Salient points of Agreements:
Both the countries, in the memorandum of understanding have decided to renew the bilateral arrangement between the Air Forces on joint training
The military training agreement was signed between Indian Defence Secretary Shashi Kant Sharma and Singapore’s Permanent Secretary for Defence Chiang Chie Foo. It stated that the military training that Indian armed forces extend to their Singaporean counterparts shall by all means continue.
The other agreement focused on expansion of joint ventures, technological collaboration both bilaterally and in third countries.
The agreement also stated that Singapore is all game for investment in education and health. – Both the countries in the agreement also decided to pin on defence cooperation.
- Pakistan willing to resolove bilateral disputes with Inida:
Pakistan on 12th July, said it is willing to go by the agreement that it had in the past with India to resolve some of the disputes like Sir Creek and Siachen. ”If you look at may be some of the disputes that we have. We have Sir Creek, we have Siachen… Pakistan has already made it clear that we are willing to go by the agreement that we had in the past,” Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar told in an interview. She said the two countries must move forward in the relationship and ”moving forward would require that we all are able to sometimes show flexibility, some times we don’t need to show flexibility.” Ms. Khar is in the Cambodian capital to attend the ASEAN Ministerial meeting.
- The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) in partnership with Government of India and Afghanistan along with Afghan investment and business organizations organized a “Delhi Investment Summit on Afghanistan” on 28 June, 2012. The summit took place at Hotel Taj Palace, New Delhi. The primary objective of the summit was to attract foreign investment into Afghanistan opening in areas like Hydrocarbons, mining and infrastructure. It envisioned fruitful partnerships to help invest in Afghanistan.The participants in the summit were not only the investors from the public sectors, but also private sectors. The summit was expected to provide an extraordinary opportunity to get information on investment opportunities in Afghanistan.