July 25, 2015
Singapore is negotiating to upgrade its existing CECA (Comprehensive Economic Co-operation Agreement) with India, K. Shanmugam, Minister for Foreign Affairs and Law, Singapore, said here today.
Addressing an International Business Conference 2015, organised by Nagarthars Entrepreneurs’ Union, the Minister said: “We want to be a partner in India’s economic growth. We want a strategic partnership, deepen bilateral, economic and people-people relations,” Mr. Shanmugham said.
Though India has a huge youth force, they should be skill trained, otherwise they would become “angry young men,” he said.
In her address, Union Minister of State, Nirmala Sitharaman, said that though the economy was liberalised in the early 90’s, the image of India 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 that the differences over Goods and Services Tax have been ironed out and the Government was “hopeful” about passing it during the current session of the Parliament.
Even as negotiations were on for agreements with Australia, Canada and the European Union, the Ministry was also exploring the possibility of signing Free Trade Agreements with Eurasia and Latin American countries, especially Peru, she said.
A study group had been formed to assess trade potential in Eurasian countries, Ms. Sitharaman said.