Economy

Goyal woos Singaporean investors 

Debabrata Das Singapore | Updated on January 20, 2018

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“India is open for business” is the message Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Power, Coal and New & Renewable Energy, gave to Singaporean investors he was wooing on Monday. 

Fresh from celebrating two years of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, Goyal on a whirlwind one-day tour of Singapore, met investors at Deutsche Bank’s investment summit db AccessAsia, the Deputy Prime Minister of Singapore Teo Chee Hean and members of the Indian and Singaporean industry at the India-Singapore Energy Technology & Investors Meet jointly organised by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI). 

“The Government of Singapore is keen to have us do fund-raising here and make use of the mature financial market. But let us see how things develop. India will look after its interest first and foremost,” Goyal said when asked whether the success that rupee denominated ‘Masala Bonds’ have had in London can be replicated in Singapore. 

“We got an opportunity to share the India growth story here. I met several fund managers who gave their perspective on the India story. They showed a lot of interest about the Ujwal DISCOM Assurance Yojana. Overall, the mood has been very favourable for India,” the Minister added. 

Investors did raise the question of ‘ease of doing business’ and asked how the government plans to improve it. 

The Minister responded saying it was open to suggestions for simplifying processes. “There was a proposal recently to ease the paperwork for Singaporean portfolio investors registered with the US Securities and Exchanges Commission. I am happy to look at it. However, there has to be reciprocity,” Goyal said. 

The Minister also reiterated that India should start looking at hedging foreign currencies. “Personally, I want the rupee to be stronger. We can and should now look at hedging foreign currencies,” he said. 

Harshvardhan Neotia, President of FICCI and Chairman of Ambuja Neotia Group, said investor interest has been positive towards India. “Overall, they feel that India is on the right track. Queries mainly focussed on how India is correcting the remaining issues in various sectors of the economy,” he said. 

Goyal also found the time to visit  one of the three institutes of technical education in Singapore. Incidentally, it was the same one Prime Minister Modi visited during his visit. “Skilling is one of the main reasons I am visiting Singapore. We hope to have a collaboration with ITE for training faculty,” the Minister said, adding that he is looking at such a cooperation with Singapore for 21 Industrial Training Institutes in India. 

(The reporter is in Singapore on an invite from FICCI) 

Published on May 23, 2016

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