India, Singapore improve economic cooperation in enhanced trade agreement

India, Singapore improve economic cooperation in enhanced trade agreement

India and Singapore have agreed to improve access for businesses in each other's markets as it concludes the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA). The second review of the CECA was concluded in the presence of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day visit to Singapore. Elizabeth Neo reports. 

SINGAPORE: India and Singapore have agreed to improve access for businesses in each other's markets as it concludes the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a news release on Friday (Jun 1).

The review includes enhancements such as expanded tariff concessions for an additional 30 products and improved rules of origin to provide more flexibility for Singapore exports into India to qualify for preferential tariffs under the agreement.

The second review of the CECA was concluded in the presence of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, who is on a three-day visit to Singapore.

"The upgraded agreement will enable more Singapore companies to qualify for lower tariffs," said Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran. 

"This improves local exporters' access to the Indian market. I encourage our companies to make full use of the upgraded agreement and explore more opportunities for collaboration in India."

Another key benefit from the upgraded CECA includes a mutual recognition agreement on nursing to facilitate a better understanding in regulating training and practice of nursing. 

The India-Singapore CECA entered into force on Aug 1, 2005, and had its first review concluded on Oct 1, 2007. 

In 2017, total bilateral trade between both countries amounted to S$25.2 billion, an increase from the S$16.6 billion when the CECA was signed in 2005. India became Singapore's largest trading partner in South Asia and Singapore was India's second-largest trading partner within ASEAN. 

Top imports from India in 2017 include petroleum oils, jewellery and precious metals while top exports to India include machinery, petroleum oils, styrene and gold. 

Singapore companies who wish to pursue business and investment opportunities in India can contact Enterprise Singapore. 

Source: CNA/na

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