The second stage was the first visit to India by a Singapore defence minister, during which he and his Indian counterpart signed a defence cooperation agreement that would include more personnel exchanges, visits and training, intelligence exchanges and defence dialogue. The agreement would take bilateral relations to a higher level and pave the way for further interaction between the armed forces of the two countries. On 29 November 2017, the two countries signed a naval cooperation agreement to strengthen maritime security, joint exercises and mutual logistical support. The agreement also allows ships of both navies to refuel, fill and rearm at other military bases. [15] After the signing of the agreement, Singapore`s Minister of Defence, Mr. Ng Eng Hen said, « Not only would we be more comfortable, but we would also encourage the Indian Navy to visit Changi Naval Base more often. » [16] Singapore and India share a strong and long-standing defence relationship, underpinned by the revised India-Singapore Defence Cooperation Agreement, signed in 2015, and bilateral agreements between the SAF and the Indian Armed Forces. In addition to established dialogues such as the DMD and the DPO, the two defence bodies interact regularly through high-level visits, exercises, defence cooperation and other technical exchanges. India and Singapore also signed the revised Defence Cooperation Agreement on 29 November 2017 to strengthen the existing defence relationship between the Indian Army and the Singapore Armed Forces. Singapore`s defence minister called the talks « a success and overwhelming productivity » and stressed the need for concerted regional and global efforts to address terrorism and other challenges such as the fight against chemical and biological weapons. The two defence cooperation agreements between Singapore and the United States, as well as between Singapore and India, underline in their own way the dynamics and innovation of Singapore`s defence diplomacy in pursuing its policy of balanced and constructive engagement with all major powers in the region. It is a policy that has enabled Singapore to respond quickly to the rapidly changing global configuration.

They welcomed the renewal of the agreement between the two countries` air forces earlier this year and look forward to the successful renewal of a similar pact between their militaries, the statement said. In this regard, Singapore and the United States share a common strategic perspective on security and economic interests in the region. In brief remarks following his talks with Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong, President Bush said much of their discussions took place on how to further advance their agenda for peace and freedom and prosperity through trade. In reviewing recent developments in South-East Asia and regional counter-terrorism efforts, they noted that significant progress had been made in dismantling terrorist networks, but more needed to be done, as the campaign against terrorism required long-term sustainable efforts. Recognizing the need for regional and international cooperation in this regard, the two Heads of State and Government pledged to continue to cooperate closely, both bilaterally and through multilateral institutions such as ASEAN, APEC and the United Nations, to defeat terrorism. The nascent U.S.-Singapore relationship, which is not limited to making Singapore a non-NATO ally like Thailand, has served to consolidate U.S. interest and presence in the region. Although asymmetrical, the two Singapore agreements reflect active defence diplomacy, reinforced by the link between security and the economy. The two defence cooperation agreements follow economic agreements concluded or negotiated by Singapore with the two Powers; Firstly, the pioneering free trade agreement with the United States, signed at the beginning of the year, and, secondly, the comprehensive economic cooperation agreement with India, which is currently being negotiated.

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