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What does Singapore import from India?

Goh Jun Cheng

Bilateral trade between Singapore and India is substantial and growing. But what exactly does Singapore import from India?

This article examines the major products, resources and services sourced by Singapore from India as an origin country.

Introduction to Singapore-India Trade

Singapore and India have enjoyed strong economic ties since establishing diplomatic relations in 1965. Today, India is Singapore’s 10th largest trading partner globally.

Key reasons for Singapore’s imports from India include proximity, resources, market knowledge and cultural linkages between the ethnic Indian community in Singapore and India.

Major Goods Imports from India

The top categories of physical goods imported by Singapore from India are:

Petroleum Products

  • Crude oil and refined petroleum account for the largest imports by value from India to Singapore.
  • Singapore imports various petroleum products including fuel oil, diesel oil and gasoline.
  • Oil imports get refined in Singapore for both domestic use and re-export.

Precious Metals and Gems

  • Singapore imports substantial amounts of gold, silver and gems from India for domestic demand and redistribution.
  • India is a key global hub for gold product manufacturing and gems trading.
  • Key imports include gold jewelry, silver bars and precious stones like diamonds.

Vehicles and Vehicle Parts

  • Singapore imports automobiles like motorcars, buses and trucks from India’s large automotive industry.
  • Two/three-wheel vehicles and vehicle parts like engines and tires feature among imports too.
  • Major makes include Tata, Mahindra and Bajaj.

Industrial Machines and Parts

  • Engineering equipment like water turbines, industrial boilers and machine tools are imported from India.
  • Associated parts like pumps, motors, compressors and filters also feature.
  • Imports cater to Singapore’s various industries like petrochemicals, logistics and technology.

Telecom Equipment

  • Singapore imports telecommunications equipment like telephone sets, mobile network gear and fiber optic cables.
  • Top suppliers include Tejas Networks and Cyient.
  • Imports support local and regional telcos and data networks.

Key Services Imports from India

Aside from goods, key services imported by Singapore from India include:

IT Services

  • Singapore is a major importer of Indian IT manpower and services spanning programming, system integration, digital solutions and consulting.
  • Key providers include TCS, Infosys and Wipro contracted by Singapore firms.

Construction Services

  • Singapore imports contractual construction services for labor, expertise and project management.
  • Specialist tradesmen, engineers and construction firms support major building projects.

Business Services

  • Financial services, legal services and administrative services are imported by Singapore firms to support operations.
  • Knowledge process outsourcing services are also imported.

Travel and Tourism

  • Indian visitor arrivals provide significant tourism receipts for Singapore’s economy annually.
  • Before Covid-19, over 1 million Indians visited Singapore each year as key source visitors.

Growth Outlook for India Imports

Going forward, Singapore’s imports from India are projected to continue growing through evolving trade flows and the CECA free trade pact:

  • Expanding bilateral services trade as Singapore firms increase outsourcing of knowledge-based services from India.
  • More specialty manufactured goods catering to Singapore’s electronics and engineering sectors.
  • Higher flows as Singapore serves as a key transhipment hub for Indian exports crossing to Southeast Asia and oceania.

Conclusion

In summary, India serves as a valued import source for Singapore spanning energy commodities, machinery, vehicles, electronics, jewelry and services. Flows support Singapore’s re-export activity and domestic economic needs as India remains an essential partner.

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