Saturday, July 21, 2012

Singapore - Singapore invites Indian investment in Education and Health

SINGAPORE – Looking forward to a mutually beneficial relationship, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong invited Indian investments, especially in education, healthcare and power sectors in the city state.

“We are in the process of setting up a board of investment to help potential investors in executing the projects,” Lee said, addressing a joint business meeting organised by industry chambers Assocham, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) here.

He said Singapore offered world-class infrastructure and favourable business regulations.

Lee also said Singapore was keen to play a part in the proposed US$100 billion Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor project, which aims to create world-class manufacturing and trading hub.

Lee, who is leading a 30-member delegation on a four-day official visit to India, said both countries are mutually important economic partners, with bilateral economic relations growing exponentially after signing of the Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) in 2005.

India-Singapore bilateral trade increased to $17.44 billion in 2010-11 from $14.04 percent in 2009-10. Singapore has become a preferred centre of operations for Indian companies active in the Asia-Pacific region.

“Combined with a good enabling environment, strong air connectivity and the presence of a large Indian community, Singapore has emerged as a key offshore logistics and financial hub for many Indian corporates. There are estimated to be about 4000 registered Indian companies in Singapore,” said Dilip Modi, past president of Assocham, addressing the event.

Singapore is India’s largest trade and investment partner in ASEAN. It has also emerged as the second largest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) into India amounting to $15.89 billion from April 2000 to December 2011, which is 10 percent of total FDI inflow to India.

India is Singapore’s eighth largest foreign investor, with FDI of $23.4 billion (till January 2012).

Adi Godrej, president of CII, said bilateral trade post-CECA has been growing at close to 20 percent annually with the exception of a couple of years when trade was affected by the global financial crises.

“Between 2006-07 and 2010-11, trade has grown by 51 percent and we hope the target of $32 billion would be achieved by 2015,” Godrej said.

R. V. Kanoria, president of FICCI, said Indian entrepreneurs are increasingly using Singapore as a launch pad to expand their business globally, with their presence from services to manufacturing and from hi-tech to basic of business.

“Opportunities are immense and the foundation for a strong and fruitful partnership between Singapore and India is already in place, but there is much potential to take ties further forward,” Kanoria said.

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