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  • SBF, SICCI, IE Singapore and BCA lead business mission to India in conjunction with PM Lee’s official visit

SBF, SICCI, IE Singapore and BCA lead business mission to India in conjunction with PM Lee’s official visit

  • Delegation comprises 60 representatives from 43 companies, government organisations and business associations
  • Three MOUs to be signed at India-Singapore Business Forum in Delhi

3 October 2016 [Singapore] - The Singapore Business Federation (SBF), Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industries (SICCI), International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and the Building & Construction Authority (BCA) will jointly lead a business delegation to Delhi from 3 to 5 October and Mumbai from 5 to 7 October 2016, in conjunction with the official visit of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to India. Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) Mr S. Iswaran will accompany PM Lee on this trip.

The delegation comprises 60 senior representatives from 43 companies, government organisations and business associations from sectors including infrastructure, petrochemicals, oil and gas, financial services, agriculture, ICT, professional services and general trade. Singapore SMEs make up 80% of the companies in the delegation, while the rest are large Singapore corporations and foreign MNCs.

Led by Mr S S Teo, Chairman of SBF, the mission aims to obtain first-hand understanding of the business environment and sector-related opportunities, and updates on the progress of reforms introduced by the government since Prime Minister Modi took office in 2014. The delegation will also meet with prominent businesses in India through networking sessions organised by Confederation of Indian industries (CII), Federation of India Chamber Of Commerce & Industry and Standard Chartered Bank.

A highlight of the business mission will be the India-Singapore Business Forum co-organised by SBF and CII on 3 October. Minister S. Iswaran and India’s Minister of Railways, Mr Suresh Prabhu will grace the event.

The Forum will see the signing of three Memoranda of Understanding (MoU), with the first MoU between SBF and CII on information exchange, trade and investment facilitation and bilateral cooperation. The other MOUs involve Pacific International Lines Group and Apollo Logistics, and Singamas and Apollo Logistics.

Commenting on the mission, Mr Teo said: “This is SBF’s largest business delegation to South Asia, and it is encouraging to see a surge in participation and interest to engage the Indian market, especially from SMEs in the infrastructure, manufacturing and professional services sectors. We hope to better understand key reforms such as the GST introduction, progress in the smart cities, infrastructure development and potential for our manufacturers.

“SBF’s renewed cooperation agreement with CII will deepen partnership between Singapore and India businesses and facilitate trade and investments. We have included new areas of cooperation such as business matching, promoting friendship between our young business leaders and entrepreneurs, international cooperation and helping our companies with dispute resolutions.”

Dr R. Theyvendran, SBF Vice Chairman and SICCI Chairman, said: “Now is a good time for businesses to capitalise on the improving ease of doing business in India. The ‘Singapore brand’ is well-received in India and companies here can leverage on the extensive network of Singapore Indian businesses residing in Singapore through organisations like SICCI and SBF to improve their success of entering the India market.”

Ajay Kanwal, Regional CEO, ASEAN and South Asia, Standard Chartered Bank, and Deputy Mission Leader said: “We are pleased to partner SBF in facilitating the exchange between India and Singapore businesses. Given India’s mammoth market size and rapid economic growth, it is opportune for businesses to consider entry or expansion into this promising market. Singapore is also the ideal launch pad for Indian companies looking to tap on the ASEAN economy. With our extensive network across Asia, Africa and the Middle East and presence in all 10 ASEAN markets, we are able to support companies by providing market entry, strategic advice and on-the-ground support to help companies realise their growth ambitions in the region.”

India is the largest country in South Asia and is a significant trading partner of Singapore. With a GDP of over US$2.07 trillion1, India was Singapore’s 10th largest trading partner and 12th largest export destination in 2015, with bilateral trade of S$22.5 billion2 last year. Indian companies form the largest foreign corporate contingent in Singapore with approximately 8,530 registered Indian companies in Singapore as of end-June 20163. Indian business presence in Singapore span diverse industries, from IT services and education to logistics and manufacturing.

Benjamin Yap, Group Director for North and South Asia in IE Singapore said: “India will become the world’s fastest growing economy by 2018. We are positive that its growth will open up opportunities for Singapore companies, especially in the areas of urban solutions, rising consumerism and investment into manufacturing. IE Singapore, through its partners and network of offices in India, can help Singapore companies better navigate the market.”

1 Source: World Bank, as at 2015
2 Source: Statlink, IE Singapore
3 Source: ACRA. Data reflects companies registered with ACRA. By definition, India companies have more than 50% capital share from India and includes foreign branches.

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