CECA to take India Another Step Closer to ASEAN: Indian PM
and Information Bureau of India
June 29, 2005
Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) being signed
today by the Prime Ministers of India and Singapore in New Delhi
will take India another step closer to a CECA with the Association
of South-East Asian Nations (ASEAN).
Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh has asked the Trade and Economic Relations
Committee (TERC) to come forward with proposals to enable forward
movement on negotiations for an India-ASEAN CECA. Noting the fact
that over the past decade successive Governments have reiterated
their commitment to bring India’s tariffs in line with ASEAN
rates, the Prime Minister said that while this would benefit all
of India’s trade partners, it is necessary to place trade
and investment liberalization with respect to India’s neighbours
and ASEAN countries on a “faster track”.
Singh told TERC, “we must enlarge our economic interaction
and integration with SAARC, BIMSTEC and ASEAN, and find creative
solutions to overcome existing hurdles. We must become a partner
in the economic progress of our neighbours.”
Prime Minister also asked the Ministries of Finance, Commerce and
External Affairs to strengthen research and policy making capabilities
in the area of external trade and economic relations both within
Government and outside. TERC was also asked to produce an annual
review of India’s external economic relations. The Investment
Commission and the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Commission
have been asked to take into account the concerns of domestic industry
and come forward with ideas to facilitate the transition to a more
open economy, more closely engaged with all the neighbours in South
and South-East Asia.
Integration Drives Growth in Asia
June 28, 2005
countries may have to put aside their differences and work on a
louder, more united voice as they grow in economic and political
western voice is much louder... The Asian voice is much lower...
and I think this is not fair. I think we have to change this situation.
Asian media plays an important role to provide accurate reports
and also a positive attitude," said Long Yongtu, secretary-general
of the Boao Forum for Asia last Friday during China Daily's CEO
Click here to read further: http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/english/doc/2005-06/28/content_455179.htm
Ready to Sign Regional Amity Treaty
June 27, 2005
is ready to sign the Southeast Asia's Treaty of Amity and Cooperation
to gain a seat atthe East Asia summit in December, according to
Foreign Minister Alexander Downer on Monday.
Broadcasting Corporation radio quoted Downer as saying that Canberra
will sign the treaty as long as it does not harm other alliances,
including the one with the United States. The Association of Southeast
Asian Nations has made Australia's signing of the non-aggression
treaty as a precondition to attend the East Asia summit.
see the East Asia summit as the birth of a growing East Asian community,
so it makes good sense for the region, for Australia, to be involved,"
here to read further: http://news.xinhuanet.com/english/2005-06/27/content_3143881.htm
MAS Panel Urges Bigger,More Liquid Asian Markets
June 21, 2005
panel, which comprises international bankers such as the chairman
of German banking giant Deutsche Bank and the head of India's Tata
Group, said in a statement that developing a bigger capital market
is a key challenge for the region.
IAP noted that the continued growth of Asia would require deeper
and more liquid capital markets. This was where the challenges were
greatest and where Singapore's small domestic market required it
to look outward," the panel said.
"encouraged Singapore to help grow the ASEAN capital markets
and continue to play a leading role in the integration of Asian
here to read further: http://sg.biz.yahoo.com/050620/15/3t26u.html
(Please note that this link may expire.)
Approves Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement with Singapore
government has approved the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement
(CECA) between India and Singapore. Briefing newsmen after the meeting
of Cabinet Shri Kamal Nath, Union Minister of Commerce & Industry
said that “CECA would be a milestone in further cementing
India’s traditional ties with Singapore... This is India's
first CECA with any country. It is also for the first time that
India is entering into a Bilateral Economic Integration Agreement
The Agreement is an integrated package comprising trade in Goods
and Services, an agreement on Investments, mutual recognition agreements
in conformity assessment of standards in goods, mutual recognition
agreement in Services, cooperation agreements in customs, science
and technology, education, e-commerce, intellectual property and
In trade in goods, India's offer is categorised in four lists --
the early harvest programme where the customs duty would be eliminated
immediately on the entry into force of CECA (506 lines); the phased
elimination (2202 lines) and phased reduction (2407 lines) where
the tariffs would be eliminated/reduced in a phased manner up to
the year 2009 and the negative list (6551 lines) where no concessions
have been offered. Trade in goods will include exchange of tariff
concessions under the 8-digit ITC Harmonised System (HS) Code covering
“Singapore has offered all products made in India entry at
zero duty into Singapore. It is expected that CECA would be helpful
in developing supply chains from India, since Singapore is a known
trading hub. The mutual recognition agreements in goods provided
in CECA would increase India’s exports especially in areas
like milk and milk products and poultry. The liberalisation of the
services sector would improve efficiency in economy, while the mutual
recognition of education degrees would provide new avenues to Indian
professionals. Furthermore, a major gain would be that CECA will
substantially increase investments in India with Singapore. Already,
Singaporean investments in India increased by about 114% in 2004-05.
Interest has already been generated in Singapore for making investments
in India in infrastructure projects and in the Special Economic
Zones (SEZs)”, Shri Kamal Nath said while elaborating on the
gains from the Agreement.
Sufficient safeguards have been built in to the Agreement to prevent
third country goods from coming in through Singapore. Stringent
Rules of Origin comprising simultaneous application of change in
tariff heading, value addition of 40% and some well defined insufficient
operations have been prescribed under CECA to ensure that only the
goods which are actually manufactured in Singapore and India benefit
under this Agreement.
In Services, India and Singapore have taken commitments beyond their
offer at the WTO. In particular, in Financial Services, a deeper
integration with the Singapore financial services is expected to
crucial component in services is the provisions relating to movement
of natural persons (Mode 4) which is a very important mode of supply
of services for India. The Agreement accordingly contains a separate
chapter which deals with the issue. “In Mode 4, mutual recognition
agreements will be entered into within a period of 12 months in
architecture, accountancy and medicines. Around 120 professions
are being recognised from India for the purpose of obtaining visas”,
Shri Kamal Nath said.
and Singapore have committed to opening investments on a positive
list basis with features in-built for protecting investments made
by each other in either country.
existing Agreement on Double Taxation Avoidance (DTAA) has been
amended through a protocol which provides for, among other issues,
sharing of information and improved tax treatment.
Agreement is scheduled to be signed by the Prime Ministers of India
and Singapore on 29th June, 2005 during the visit of the Singapore
Prime Minister to India. CECA is expected to come into effect from
1st August, 2005.
Press and Information Bureau of India, Press Release, June 20, 2005)
ROK Willing to Advance FTA Process
June 17, 2005
and the Republic of Korea (ROK) Friday expressed their positive
attitude towards speeding up research about establishing a free
trade area (FTA) amid the fast-growth economic ties between the
quicken the study of setting up the FTA between the two countries
is active and feasible," said Chinese Commerce Minister Bo
Xilai at China-ROK Economic Cooperation Forum held here Friday.
2004, China and the ROK reached a consensus to develop a non-governmental
joint study of the feasibility of the FTA. The two countries officially
lanuched the non-government FTA feasibility study on March 20 this
Bo has frowned on Asia's current lax economic integration process,
which has lagged behind the European Union and North America Free
Trade Area and held down the whole Asian economy.
closer economic ties and about one trillion dollars trade within
East Asia, the interdependence in the region has markedly increased,"
said Bo. "China will, in an active way, make joint efforts
with the ROK to push forward the FTA process."
here to read further:
Asia is Confident of Its Role in World Stage: Badawi
(Malaysian National News Agency)
Siti Hawa Othman
June 14, 2005
Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi says a strong feeling
of regeneration, renewal and progress was shaping the "New
Asia", an Asia which is more confident of its leading role
on the world stage.
from the developments of the region, he said the nature of issues
and concerns affecting business tomorrow would be substantially
different from those faced today as Asia was changing into a region
that was more dynamic and robust, more integrated and innovation-driven.
leaders, he said, would find the New Asia easier to relate to, easier
to navigate and better equipped in terms of infrastructure, and
also better connected within the region and outfitted with more
and more home-grown talent.
said this in his keynote address on "Prospering Together in
the New Asia" at a dinner held in conjunction with the Pacific
Basin Economic Council (PBEC) 38th International General Meeting
(IGM), here Monday.
here to read further: http://www.bernama.com.my/bernama/v3/news_business.php?id=139271
Believes Intra-Asian Economic Integration will Gather Speed
June 9, 2005
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said East Asian countries have no
choice but to construct a new landscape in which to compete. Speaking
at the Asia Society Conference in Bangkok, Mr Goh outlined some
directions to build East Asia.
road to East Asia's regionalism is already well-paved, and there
is already a growing web of Free Trade Agreements in the region,
with more being concluded. Intra-Asian trade is also on the rise,
with a 17 percent growth in the last 5 years.
Goh believes this trend of economic integration will gather speed,
but he said East Asia's growth is also set against the backdrop
of a rising China, India's re-emergence and Japan's role as an economic
Click here to read further: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/151884/1/.html