India, Singapore focus on bilateral trade to boost economic ties

India-Singapore bilateral trade has increased from $4.2 billion in 2003-04 to around $19.3 billion in 2013-14

The Dollar Business Bureau | @TheDollarBiz Singapore-TDB The DOllar Business   The Foreign Ministers of India and Singapore have directed officials to identify concrete projects in five focal areas of cooperation including trade, connectivity and investments, as a part of the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) that was signed between the two countries in 2005. Singapore’s Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam and India's External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said today in Singapore that CECA has helped bilateral trade to increase from $4.2 billion in 2003-04 to around $19.3 billion in 2013-14. “Singapore became one of India’s largest foreign investors in 2013, while Singapore is one of India’s top investment destinations,” they said.   Sushma Swaraj said, “It is gratifying that Singapore is not only our largest trading partner in ASEAN, but also one of the largest sources of FDI globally and one of the largest destinations of outward FDI. Nevertheless, scope to scale up investments in India by Singapore exists.” India has a trade surplus with Singapore. In FY2013-14, India’s exports to Singapore stood at around $12.5 billion, compared to imports worth around $6.76 billion. However, bilateral trade between the two countries has declined to around $19.3 billion in FY2013-14, down about 23.5% from the peak of around $25.2 billion in FY2011-12. The foreign ministers of the two countries hope that a speedy completion of the negotiations for the Second Review of the CECA would help boost bilateral trade again. The signing of the Services and Investment Chapters of the ASEAN-India FTA (AIFTA) later this year is expected to help meet the target of $100 billion worth of ASEAN-India trade by 2015, and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) will boost India’s presence in the Southeast Asia region, the ministers added.     This article was published on August 16, 2014.