India and Singapore have agreed to improve access for businesses in each other’s markets as they concluded the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA).
The review includes enhancements such as expanded tariff concessions for an additional 30 products and improved rules to provide more flexibility for Singapore exports into India to qualify for preferential tariffs under the agreement, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said.
The second review of the CECA was concluded in the presence of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Singaporean counterpart Lee Hsien Loong.
Modi is on a three-day visit in Singapore.
“The upgraded agreement will enable more Singapore companies to qualify for lower tariffs,” Minister for Trade and Industry S Iswaran said.
“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 August 1, 2005, and had its first review concluded on October 1, 2007.
During Modi’s visit, the two sides signed several agreements, including a mutual cecognition pact on Nursing.
Implementation agreement signed between the Indian Navy and Republic of Singapore Navy concerning mutual coordination, logistics and services support for naval ships, submarines and naval aircraft (including Ship borne Aviation Assets) visits.
Extension of the Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Indian Computer Emergency Response Team (CERT-IN) and the Singapore Computer Emergency Response Team (SINGCERT) in the area of cyber security.
The Narcotics Control Bureau (NCB) of India and the Central Narcotics Bureau (CNB) of Singapore signed an MoU on cooperation to combat illicit trafficking in narcotic drugs, psychotropic substances and their precursors.
Memorandum of Understanding on cooperation in the field of personnel Management and public administration.
Memorandum of Understanding signed between the Department of Economic Affairs, India’s ministry of finance, and the Monetary Authority of Singapore on the constitution of a Joint Working Group (JWG) on Fintech between India and Singapore.
The NITI Aayog and Singapore Cooperation Enterprise (SCE) also signed an MoU on cooperation in the field of planning.
In 2017, total bilateral trade between both countries amounted to 25.2 billion Singapore dollar, an increase from the 16.6 billion Singapore dollar when the CECA was signed in 2005.
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.