Dr Shilpak N Ambule, presently Joint Secretary in the Indian Ministry of External Affairs, has been appointed as the next High Commissioner of India to the Republic of Singapore. He is an Indian Foreign Service officer from the 2002 batch, and is expected to take up the assignment shortly.
Dr Ambule is a very experienced hand in the External Affairs Ministry after having worked in the office of Foreign Secretary when Dr S Jaishankar occupied that position and later when he became the External Affairs Minister.
A Chinese language speaker who has worked both in Beijing and in the East Asia division, of which he was the head for the past year, he is expected to replace HE P Kumaran, the outgoing High Commissioner to Singapore who will return to South Block as a Secretary, next month.
India and Singapore have close political and economic ties. India is Singapore's sixth largest trading partner, while Singapore is India's 12th largest trading partner, according to the India Brand Equity Foundation. The two countries have a Strategic Partnership, which was upgraded to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in 2015.
In 2021-22, bilateral trade between the two countries was worth USD 30.11 billion. Singapore is also India's eighth largest source of investment and the largest among ASEAN member countries.
India and Singapore also share strong cultural affinities, with a 700,000-strong Indian community and prominent Indian culture and language influence in the city-state.