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Indian manufacturers should boost exports to Singapore: Experts

Indian manufacturers should boost their exports to Singapore and the larger Asia-Pacific region in the current globally weak economic scenario, especially in the areas of IT and space technology, experts said.

By: | Singapore | Published: September 23, 2016 2:38 PM
The delegates said Singapore has multi-party Free Trade Agreements which Indian exporters can benefit from, especially for re-exports to other countries. (Reuters) The delegates said Singapore has multi-party Free Trade Agreements which Indian exporters can benefit from, especially for re-exports to other countries. (Reuters)

Indian manufacturers should boost their exports to Singapore and the larger Asia-Pacific region in the current globally weak economic scenario, especially in the areas of IT and space technology, experts today said.

At a seminar on India-Singapore Trade: Strengthening Opportunities attended by nearly 150 businessmen, they called on Indian exporters to find ways to push their exports, and re-exports through Singapore to the Asia Pacific region.

The delegates said Singapore has multi-party Free Trade Agreements which Indian exporters can benefit from, especially for re-exports to other countries.

Indian exporters can also take advantage of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that includes both India and Singapore as well as all economies of Southeast Asia and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.

In 2015-16, India’s trade with Singapore was USD 15.02 billion, with Indian exports contributing USD 7.71 billion.

The challenges faced by Indian exporters in taking the trade to higher level was highlighted by Paresh Mehta, member of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation.

Mehta said India is also looking to scale up collaboration with Singapore based on ‘5S’ formula: scale up trade and investment; speed up connectivity; smart cities with focus on urban development and water management; skill development; and state focus to promote engagement with Indian states.

“Singapore can benefit from India’s manufacturing potential in diverse areas,” Mehta told the delegates.

“IT and space technology are other key areas where Indian capabilities can be harnessed by Singapore,” he said.

Mehta pointed out the miniscule share of 2.26 per cent in Singapore imports and said the two countries present immense opportunities for mutual growth and cooperation.

Amitendu Palit, senior research fellow and research lead at the Institute of South Asian Studies, said trade between India and Singapore has declined in recent years due to a weak global and regional demand.

However, a lot of trade through exchange of entertainment content, internet content and also through tourism is probably not adequately captured by trade statistics, he said.

“If captured, they would show a much high volume of bilateral trade since both Singapore and India are trading heavily in services,” he added.

Pradeep Chatterjee, a Singapore-based risk management consultant, called for listing of Indian companies here for tapping the financial resources in Singapore.

“We would like to see more Indian companies in Singapore Stock Exchange to raise capital,” he said.

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