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Singapore, India Review CECA

by Mary Swire, Tax-News.com, Hong Kong

12 May 2010


Shri Anand Sharma, the Indian Minister of Commerce and Industry, and Mr Lim Hng Kiang, the Singaporean Minister for Trade and Industry, have launched the second review of the India-Singapore Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA), agreeing on an economic roadmap to take the agreement forward in the next five years.

The India-Singapore CECA came into existence in August 2005 to facilitate trade and investment between the two countries, and its review for the first time in 2007 concentrated on implementation issues. This time, the ministers reviewed the state of India-Singapore bilateral trade and investment and agreed to further strengthen existing links.

The bilateral economic roadmap will include a target to double annual bilateral trade by 2015, and an expansion of the CECA's product coverage and parity with the rules of origin in other free trade agreements (FTAs) signed by India, for example, the India-South Korea FTA. There will also be an assessment of the implementation of the CECA’s services chapter, with a view to further improvement.

There will reportedly be a broadening of cooperation, beginning with science and technology and intellectual property rights.

The ministers also discussed the current state of play in the negotiations towards the India-Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Services and Investment Agreement. In addition, they reviewed the progress under the ASEAN+6 dialogue and reaffirmed their commitment towards a Comprehensive Economic Partnership in East Asia.

It was disclosed that India was Singapore’s 11th largest trading partner in 2009, and Singapore’s seventh largest investor in 2008. Indian foreign direct investment (FDI) in Singapore jumped eight-fold from 2005 to reach SGD11bn (USD7.9bn) in 2008, while Singapore ranked second in terms of FDI inflows into India with USD2.9bn invested in 2009.

TAGS: tax | business | India | law | trade treaty | Singapore | agreements | trade

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