Union Minister of Commerce and Industry Kamal Nath on Monday stated that a bilateral agreement on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) cooperation between the intellectual property offices of India and Singapore will be signed shortly. During his bilateral meeting with Lim Hng Kiang, Minister for Trade and Industry of Singapore, Nath informed that as regards the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)-India FTA, considerable progress was made during the last meeting in Bali and added: "I am now hopeful that we would be able to achieve our target of announcing the conclusion of negotiations at the AEM-India consultations in August". During the interaction, Kamal Nath said that Singapore was India's fifth largest merchandise trading partner and fourth largest merchandise export market and added that India's exports to Singapore grew by 16 per cent in the year 2007-08 compared to a growth of 42 per cent in the imports from Singapore.
He further stated that Singapore ranks fourth in terms of foreign direct investment in India during the period 1991-2008 with investments of 4.7 billion dollars. The total bilateral trade during 2006-07 was 11.49 billion dollars and has increased by 25.88 per cent to 13.42 billion dollars in the year 2007-08 (upto February 2008) over the same period in 2006-07. Major items of Indian exports to Singapore were: petroleum (crude and products); other commodities; transport equipments; electronic goods and non-ferrous metals. Major items of Indian imports from Singapore were: electronic goods; petroleum (crude and products); organic chemicals; machinery (except electrical and electronic) and project goods.
The top five sectors attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflows from Singapore are: petroleum and natural gas, mining, services sector, construction activities and power, whereas the top five sectors attracting technology transfer are: electrical equipments (including computer software and electronics), hotel and tourism, food processing industry, chemicals (other than fertilizer) and miscellaneous mechanical and engineering industries.