New Delhi– India and Singapore on Friday signed the “Second Protocol” amending the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) to boost trade ties between the two countries, an official statement said.

The protocol was signed by Joint Secretary of Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Rajneesh and Francis Chong, Senior Director, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Government of Singapore, it said.

The CECA was signed on June 29, 2005 and its first review was concluded on October 1, 2007.

“The signing of the Second Protocol, amending CECA, will boost bilateral trade between India and Singapore,” the Commerce Ministry statement said.

It further said, signing of the Second Protocol formally brings the negotiations on second review of CECA, which began on May 11, 2010, to a closure.

“India and Singapore have successfully reached mutual understanding and agreement in closing the second review,” it said.

Both sides agreed to expand the coverage of tariff concessions, liberalise the “Rules of Origin”, rationalise “Product Specific Rules” and include provisions on “Certificate of Origin” and cooperation on its verification

The conclusion of the Second Review of CECA was announced during the visit of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Singapore on June 1, 2018. The provisions of the Second Protocol will come into effect on September 14, 2018.

As per Commerce Ministry, both the countries are exploring the possibility of launching the third review of India-Singapore CECA in September, 2018.

Singapore is the second largest trading partner of India within ASEAN and India is the largest trading partner of Singapore in South Asia, with a bilateral trade of $17.7 billion in 2017-18. (IANS)


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