to Singapore and the larger Asia-Pacific
region in the current globally weak economic scenario, especially in the areas of IT and space technology, experts said on Friday.
At a seminar on India-Singapore
Trade: Strengthening Opportunities attended by nearly 150 businessmen, they called on Indian exporters to find ways to push their exports, and re-exports
through Singapore to the Asia Pacific region.
The delegates said Singapore has multi-party Free Trade
Agreements which Indian exporters can benefit from, especially for re-exports
to other countries.
Indian exporter scan also take advantage of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership that includes both India and Singapore as well as all economies of Southeast Asia and China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand.
In 2015-16, India's trade
with Singapore was $15.02 billion, with Indian exports
contributing $7.71 billion.
The challenges faced by Indian exporters in taking the trade
to higher level was highlighted by Paresh Mehta, member of the Federation of Indian Export Organisation.
Mehta said India is also looking to scale up collaboration with Singapore based on '5S' formula: scale up trade
and investment; speed up connectivity; smart cities with focus on urban development and water management; skill development; and state focus to promote engagement with Indian states.
"Singapore can benefit from India's manufacturing potential in diverse areas," Mehta told the delegates.
"IT and space technology are other key areas where Indian capabilities can be harnessed by Singapore," he said.
Mehta pointed out the minuscule share of 2.26 per cent in Singapore imports and said the two countries present immense opportunities for mutual growth and cooperation.
Amitendu Palit, senior research fellow and research lead at the Institute of South Asian Studies, said trade
between India and Singapore has declined in recent years due to a weak global and regional demand.
However, a lot of trade
through exchange of entertainment content, internet content and also through tourism is probably not adequately captured by trade
statistics, he said.
"If captured, they would show a much high volume of bilateral trade
since both Singapore and India are trading heavily in services," he added.
Pradeep Chatterjee, a Singapore-based risk management consultant, called for listing of Indian companies here for tapping the financial resources in Singapore.
"We would like to see more Indian companies in Singapore Stock Exchange to raise capital," he said.