India has emerged as the fastest-growing trading partner
for Singapore and the bilateral trade growth between
the two countries have grown manifold. This was stated
Ajit Singh, consul general designate, consulate general
of the Republic of Singapore during the Confederation
of Indian Industry's (CII) meeting with business delegation
from Singapore in Chennai on May 22, 2006.
Singh said that Singapore was the third-largest exporter
to India and the 'comprehensive economic co-operation
agreement' (CECA) signed between India and Singapore
last year has further strengthened the economic cooperation
between the two nations.
In his address, N Kumar, vice chairman, The Sanmar Group,
and past CII's president said "Singapore is not
just India's most important trading partner amongst
the ASEAN countries, but also significant as India's
gateway to ASEAN and China.
He said that the bilateral trade between the two countries
in in 2005 has grown by 52.24 per cent with India's
imports from Singapore (worth $2.58 billion) having
grown by 23.94 per cent since last year.
He further added that CII is taking business missions
every year to Singapore to explore business opportunities
and had recently organised 'the India evening' in Singapore
to celebrate the vitality of Singapore-India relations,
rejuvenated through the CECA. This landmark agreement
covered trade in goods, services, knowledge and talent
stood as a new model for cooperation between friendly
nations, he said.
R Ramaraj, vice chairman, CII Tamil Nadu and managing
director & CEO, Sify Ltd, said, "Singapore's
investments in India were likely to have been understated
so far, as many overseas investments into India were
routed through Mauritius to take advantage of the favorable
'double taxation avoidance agreement' (DTAA) between
the India and Mauritius."
He further said that India's DTAA with Singapore is
now modeled more on the lines of the existing treaty
with Mauritius and Singapore will probably turn out
to be India's Hong Kong and there could be a shift in
foreign direct investments (FDI) from Mauritius to Singapore.
Showcasing the investment opportunity in Tamil Nadu
M Velmurugan, director, Guidance Bureau, Industries
Department, government of Tamil Nadu said the state
has emerged as the third-largest economy in India (economic
size of $46 billion) with total exports of $11,800 million
He invited Singaporean businessmen to explore business
opportunities in Tamil Nadu in sectors such as; finance,
banking, infrastructure, retail, logistics, communication,
agriculture, education, training and development.
He further said that the state offers structured package
of incentives for investments exceeding $70 million
in a period of three years and other incentives such
as 100 per cent income tax exemption;
customs duty exemption on import of capital goods, raw
materials, etc, for units set up in special economic