The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) between India and Singapore came into force on August 1, 2005. . It was the first comprehensive trade agreement India signed with any trade partner and was aimed at facilitating trade in goods and services and investment between the two countries.
The present exercise is regarding review of the trade in services based upon the working of the provisions contained in Chapter 7 (Trade in services) and Chapter 9 (Movement of Natural Persons).
It was also agreed that Mutual Recognition Agreements (MRA) between the professional bodies of the two states will be entered into, which will allow doctors, dentists, nurses, accountants and architects trained in India to practise in Singapore and vice-versa.
It has undergone one review in 2007, as per the agreed schedule and concentrated on implementation issues.
A fresh review will soon be underway and has been announced by both nations. As part of the India-Singapore Bilateral Economic Roadmap drawn between the two sides, the following issues relate to Services:
Assess implementation of CECA Services Chapter with a view to further improvement.
Expedite conclusion of MRAs for dentistry, medical, nursing, architecture, accountancy and company secretary professionals on priority
Explore expansion of the provisions of CECA to liberalize and facilitate movement of Indian professionals to Singapore.
From an Indian perspective the initial years have seen several unforeseen problems such as the inability/unwillingness to conclude the mutual recognition agreements (MRAs) on the professional services of interest to India. These procedural issues must be sorted out, in the hope that bilateral trade flows in commercial services will grow at a comparable pace as the merchandise trade growth.
A Questionnaire is formulated to assess the impact of the India-Singapore CECA with respect to the Indian Services Sector.