Singapore is keen to upgrade its existing Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement (CECA) as the East Asian country wants to be a ‘partner’ in economic development here.
“We want to be a partner in India’s economic growth. We want a strategic partnership to deepen bilateral economic and people to people relations,” K Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law of Singapore, said here today.
He was speaking at the International Business Conference 2015.
India has a huge youth force and they should be “skill trained as otherwise they would become angry young men”, he said.
On the occasion, Union Minister Nirmala Sitharaman said though the economy was liberalised in the early 90s, India’s image of being a regulatory and control driven economy still persisted.
“We are working on removing that image. The government should be seen as a facilitator and not a regulator,” she said.
Later talking to reporters, she said differences over GST (Goods and Services Tax) have been ironed out. “Government is hopeful about passing it during the current Parliament session if it works.”
Even as negotiations are on for agreements with Australia, Canada and European Union, the ministry is also exploring the possibility of Free Trade Agreements with Eurasia and Latin American countries, especially Peru, she said.
A study group has been formed to assess trade potential in Eurasian countries, Sitharaman said.
“There are a lot of discussions that are going on (for FTAs) now,” she said.