Singapore has urged India to begin negotiating for a full air transport agreement that includes passenger services with ASEAN. According to Foreign Affairs and Law Minister, K Shanmugam, the agreement will benefit India as it will open more business and tourism opportunities for the country as well as Southeast Asia.
Analysis by Singapore company registration specialist Rikvin shows that better air connectivity could open up more possibilities for increased economic activity between the two countries. According to The High Commission of India in Singapore, there are currently 422 weekly flights between Singapore and India. Singapore’s Changi International Airport is also linked to 12 cities in India through eight airlines. For the year ending April 2013, the number of passengers moving between Singapore and India registered 3.06 million.
In addition, the agreement with ASEAN will expand India and Singapore’s existing air services MOU with India. The revised MOU, which has been revised on 2nd April 2013, increased the seating capacity between the two countries by approximately 10%, allowing Indian carriers to operate 29,400 passenger seats to Singapore per week, while Singapore carriers fly 28,700 passenger seats per week to India.
More flights and better connectivity to various locations means business people and tourists will travel more. In turn, more business and investment activity will emerge. It would create a win-win situation for all.”
Commenting on the significance of a comprehensive air pact with ASEAN, Mr. Satish Bakhda, Head of Operations at Rikvin said, “India stands to benefit from a closer engagement with the rest of ASEAN by opening up air connectivity to the group’s members. More flights and better connectivity to various locations means business people and tourists will travel more. In turn, more business and investment activity will emerge. It would create a win-win situation for all.”
“In addition, it would attract more Indian enterprises to incorporate a company in Singapore and use it as a base to expand to the region. According to the High Commission of India in Singapore, many Indian firms use Singapore to raise fund for global operations,” affirmed Mr. Bakhda.
In April 2013, Singapore has emerged as the second largest investor in India, contributing US$20.75 billion or 10.6% of its total FDI.