The Business Times | 1 June 2018
Singapore, India to cut tariffs on 30 more products after trade pact review
by Kenneth Lim
Singapore and India will reduce or remove tariffs on a further 30 products, improve rules of origin and facilitate mutual recognition of nursing standards following the second review of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between the two countries.
The conclusion of the review took place on Friday, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) announced.
Following the new update, tariffs on 30 products will be reduced or eliminated to the level under the free trade agreement between India and the Association of South-east Asian Nations (Asean). The new preferential tariffs apply to a variety of sectors, including food and Nylon moulding powder.
Rules of origin will also become more flexible, allowing certain goods to qualify as Singapore-originating even when a limited amount of inputs used in production do not meet the change in tariff classification requirement. New product specific rules, which are typically easier to meet than the general rule of origin, have also been created for goods such as machinery parts and edible oils. These will make it easier for Singapore exports into India to qualify for preferential tariffs, the MTI said.
Both countries have agreed on a mutual recognition agreement on nursing as well to facilitate better understanding of their standards in regulating the training and practice of nursing.
Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran said: "The upgraded agreement will enable more Singapore companies to qualify for lower tariffs. This improves local exporters’ access to the Indian market. I encourage our companies to make full use of the upgraded agreement and explore more opportunities for collaboration in India."
CECA first came into force in 2005, and the first review concluded in 2007. Total bilateral trade between Singapore and India has grown from S$16.6 billion in 2005 to S$25.2 billion in 2017.