Three years later, when trade ministers gathered in Seattle for their third summit, the mood was drunk. Indeed, the Seattle conference did not make progress in the next round of trade negotiations. In response to allegations that emerged in early 2016 that Singapore had withdrawn its commitment to the CACE by blocking Indian IT professionals applying for work visas and that India had, in response, frozen the continuation of the trade exemption, a spokesman for the Indian Ministry of Commerce confirmed that India had not frozen the CACE and that it remained in force. Singapore also said it had not received official notice from the Indian government that the CACE review had been frozen.  The India-Singapore Economic Cooperation Agreement, also known as the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement or simply CECAF, is a free trade agreement between Singapore and India aimed at strengthening bilateral trade. It was signed on 29 June 2005.  The issue of free trade agreements and CECAF was discussed during the 2020 parliamentary elections in Singapore between the ruling People`s Action Party (PAP) and various opposition parties.    Tan Cheng Bock, a former Member of Parliament of the People`s Action Party (PSP) who is campaigning in the elections as a PSP politician, has promised to seek a review of the CACE if elected, including under one of the conditions allowing the free movement of Indian workers in at least 127 sectors, Enter singapore and work there. Despite the government`s clarification on this subject, netizens remain skeptical about the free trade agreement between Singapore and India.  “None of our free trade agreements (free trade agreements), including CECAF, require us to automatically grant EPs to foreigners,” the spokesperson said. “All foreigners who apply for the PE must meet our current criteria and all companies must respect the rules of fairness.” Today, it is undeniable that both sides have won. If you pass by the images of the large number of Indian faces at lunchtime in areas such as the Marina Bay Financial Centre and the Changi Business Park, focused on information technology, Ceca has delivered for Singapore. Official data on Statlink shows that bilateral trade increased from $16.6 billion in 2005 to $24.3 billion $US last year.
Singaporean business investment in India rose from $1.3 billion in 2005 to $60.9 billion at the end of 2018. In December 1996, when Singapore hosted the first WTO Ministerial Conference, there was optimism about the future of free trade and globalization. World trade had grown by 10 per cent a year, from only $50 billion in 1947 to $5.6 trillion in 1995. Last week`s cuts to Resorts World Sentosa – and reports that Marina Bay Sands will likely follow – have added grist to that mill….