India hopes for more trade with Singapore despite changes in CECA

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New Delhi, Mar 28 (UNI) A day after India approved exclusion of 16 items from the list of 555 items for preferential tariffs on request of Singapore, Commerce and Industry Minister Kamal Nath today expressed hope that both the sides will further expand bilateral trade and investment.

During an interaction with Singapore senior minister Goh Chok Tong here, he said there are more than 37 approved Indian joint ventures in Singapore and more than 30 wholly-owned subsidiaries operating in the city-nation state. Besides, MMTC has also converted its representative office in Singapore into a wholly-owned subsidiary to give a push to bilateral trade.

Mr Nath said Singapore ranked 4th in terms of foreign direct investment inflows into India and first from ASEAN with a total investment of 2694.81 million dollars, which is 5.76 per cent of the cumulative FDI inflow into India in rupees terms.

The Union Cabinet, while approving changes in the list of items covered by the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) with Singapore, also approved transfer of 14 chemical items from the normal track 1 list (tariff elimination by 2011) to the normal track 2 list (tariff elimination by 2015). This was reportedly done at the request of the chemical and fertiliser industry. These items, too, were part of the 555 items on which the tariff structure was liberalised in November 2007.

India and Singapore signed the CECA in June 2005. The agreement, a first of its kind for India, was effective from August 2005. India has put more than 6,550 items in the negative list so far.

UNI SAA PDT KN2149

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