Come 2007, the Lion City will be hunting ground for five categories of Indian professionals. Singapore will soon allow Indian architects, chartered accountants, nurses, dentists and health service providers to practice in the city-state without appearing for qualification tests.
The two countries are giving finishing touches to mutual recognition agreement (MRA) for the five mentioned categories of professionals. The exercise is likely to be completed in 3-4 months.
Singapore had committed to provide opportunities for Indian service providers to practice there in the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) signed last year.
The commerce ministry officials said all formalities will be completed by year-end and the identified professionals will be allowed to set up shop in Singapore by the beginning of next year.
Other service providers mentioned in CECA need not despair.
It is not possible to work on MRAs for large number of professions at the same time. After we complete all formalities for the five identified categories, we will move on to other services identified in CECA, an official said.
Other services include IT, engineering, financial services, university teaching and advertising.
As per CECA, there will be mutual recognition of 129 education degrees given by recognised universities and technical education boards.
CECA with Singapore is the first comprehensive bilateral economic agreement signed by India incorporating goods, services and investment. It includes free trade agreement in goods, an agreement on investments, mutual recognition agreements in services and conformity assessment of standards in goods.
Cooperation pacts in customs, science & technology, media, education, e-commerce and intellectual property are also part of CECA. The pact includes a Bilateral Investment Protection Agreement (BIPA), a Double Taxation Avoidance Agreement (DTAA) with additional safeguards to avoid misuse by shell companies and a Bilateral Economic Integration Agreement in Services.