India-Singapore ink deal to expand tariff liberalisation package

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New Delhi, Dec 20 (UNI)India and Singapore today signed a protocol to amend the comprehensive economic cooperation agreement(CECA) between them to expand the tariff liberalisation package from January 15.

Under the protocol, India has agreed to eliminate/reduce tariff on 539 products in a phased manner beginning January 15, 2008 Commerce Ministry said in a statement this evening.

Tariff elimination will be achieved in five equal cuts between January 15, 2008 and December 1, 2011 for 307 items, in nine equal cuts between January 15, 2008 and December 1, 2015 for 97 items and for the remaining 135 products tariff reduction to 5 per cent will be achieved in nine equal cuts between January 15, 2008 and December 1, 2015, the statement added.

Under the existing trade in goods agreement, about 83 per cent value of India's imports from Singapore are covered under products for which tariff is being eliminated or reduced. After the proposed additional tariff concessions, this coverage would go up to about 93 per cent, the statement said.

It has also been decided to extend, under India-Singapore CECA, additional concessions that India may offer under ASEAN-India FTA in goods in terms of product coverage, time-line, rules of origin, with appropriate amendments to India- Singapore CECA.

The CECA, signed in June 2005 to enhance bilateral trade and to strengthen economic relations, was operationised on August 1 the same year.

It boosted bilateral trade with India's exports to Singapore registering a growth of 35.61 per cent and 10.98 per cent during 2005-06 and 2006-07 at USD 5.4 billion and USD 6.02 billion respectively. During the same period,Singapore's export to India went up by 26.49 per cent and 63.10 per cent at USD 3.4 billion and USD 5.5 billion respectively.

India had a positive trade balance of USD 551 million against Singapore in 2006-07.


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