labels: confederation of indian industry, trade
Growing trade between India and Singapore news
23 May 2006

Chennai: 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 in 2004-05.

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 zones (SEZs).

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Growing trade between India and Singapore