Singapore plans to woo Indian SMEs

PTI Singapore | Updated on May 11, 2011 Published on May 11, 2011

Singapore aims to woo medium and small-size Indian companies seeking to expand into Asia-Pacific markets to set up shop in the city state as a regional base of operations, Senior Minister of State for Trade and Industry, Mr S. Iswaran, said here today.

“We already have large companies from India coming to Singapore and using the island state for regional business. The next step really is how this can cascade down to the larger pool of mid-size companies,” he told PTI.

Having met domestic demand, the mid-size Indian companies were looking beyond their borders, especially for opportunities in the Asia-Pacific, he said after launching Tata Communications’ international headquarters in Singapore.

“Singapore can be a good springboard for these mid-size companies into the region as the city state has Free Trade Agreements with regional markets,” said Mr Iswaran. Singapore companies also have traditional links with regional businesses.

“As such, the mid-size Indian companies can partner Singapore companies or just use the links to other countries,” he said. Mr Iswaran also underlined the synergy between technology-savvy Indian companies in the pharmaceuticals and IT space and Singapore’s emphasis on attracting knowledge-based companies.

“Singapore’s emphasis is on knowledge-based activity and the kind of resources we are committing toward such sectors are opportunities for the Indian mid-size companies to come here and collaborate with our research institutes in the universities,” he said.

Bilateral business between Singapore and India expanded to 30 billion Singapore dollars last year, especially following the easing of taxes under the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.

Indian commerce and trade observers see the number of Indian companies increasing to 6,000 over the next two to three years.

Published on May 11, 2011
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