Over 90 companies showcase innovative products and services at The India Show, Singapore
India & Singapore need to ensure that their bilateral trade and investment is integrated into the wider India-ASEAN economic engagement framework. This would be the key to future success of the India-Singapore economic partnership said Mr Anand Sharma, Hon’ble Union Minister of Commerce & Industry, Government of India while delivering his inaugural address at “The India Show, Singapore” organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Government of India, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), the India High Commission in Singapore and the India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) from 14-16 January 2011 at Suntec International Convention and Exhibition Centre, Singapore.
Mr Sharma said that the Comprehensive Economic Cooperative Agreement signed by Singapore and India in 2005 has more than doubled the bilateral trade between the two countries. India has followed it by a Trade in Goods Agreement with ASEAN in 2009 in which India and Singapore are Parties. India is today ASEAN’s seventh largest trading partner and sixth largest investor with trade of over US$60 billion with ASEAN countries.
“We are in negotiations for Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement with Republic of Korea and similar agreements with Malaysia and Japan. We will sign the Free Trade Agreement with Malaysia in February. “We view Singapore as being the first step for forging a broader economic integration into East Asia and India remains committed to this process which we hope will come to fruition in the next few years” he added.
Mr Anand Sharma also led a high-level ministerial delegation to Singapore on 13-14 January 2011. Coinciding with the India Show a 20 member high level CEOs delegation was also organized by CII.
Mr Lim Hng Kiang, Hon’ble Minister for trade and Industry, Government of Singapore reiterated that bilateral trade between the two countries was growing stating, “Last year our bilateral trade was about 30 billion Singapore dollars. This is a rebound from the dip during the recent global financial crisis and has exceeded the pre-crisis high in 2008.”
“Singapore’s investments into India have quadrupled to almost $13 billion Singapore dollars since 2005, and we are now India’s second largest foreign investor after Mauritius. India is also a major investor in Singapore to the tune of $11 billion Singapore dollars in 2008,” he added.
Mr B Muthuraman, President – Designate, CII & Vice Chairman, Tata Steel in his address said that the aim of India Show is to promote Brand India and provide a platform to Indian companies to showcase their strengths and capabilities in both developed and emerging markets with demand for Indian products, technologies and services. Over 90 companies representing a wide array of products and services are participating at the show, he added.
Mr Muthuraman said that the bilateral trade between Singapore and India had been growing around 20% annually reached USD 8.65 billion in 2005 and is expected to cross USD 14 billion in 2010. To further strengthen the bilateral cooperation, CII is working with Singapore organizations to build on the various agreements such as CECA with Singapore.
Speaking about the opportunities for growth, Mr Muthuraman said that Infrastructure is a high potential sector for Singapore companies to collaborate with India. The key to this endeavour is public private partnership, including FDI. An outlay of $1 trillion is projected in the five years to 2017, providing a huge opportunity for infrastructure companies in Singapore to invest in India, he added.
The other key area the focus should be on is the manufacturing sector, where, many Indian companies have demonstrated to the world - India’s global excellence in manufacturing supported by innovation, entrepreneurship and highly skilled workforce, said Mr Muthuraman.
Mr Chandrajit Banerjee, Director General, CII, India in his address said India Show aims to increase Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) engagement by raising awareness on opportunities for Indian SMEs the Singapore Market, entering into strategic partnerships such as promoting technology links and facilitating capacity building and innovation.
Mr Banerjee also said that “CII is privileged to partner with Ministry of Commerce and Industry and Indian High Commission in Singapore to bring this exhibition of the best of Indian products to Singapore. A large number of companies have shown enthusiasm about displaying their products here.”
Ms Jean Tan, Executive Director, The Singapore International Foundation and Ms Supriya Banerji, Deputy Director General, Confederation of Indian Industry also launched the “India Young Business Ambassadors” programme by signing a Memorandum of Understanding on the occasion of the Inaugural Session of India Show.
The YBA will enable young professionals aged between 21-35 from Singapore and India to spend up to 12 weeks establishing business contacts, working and living in Singapore and Mumbai respectively.
Ambassador Gopinath Pillai, Chairman, iSAS, Singapore and Dr TCA Raghavan, Indian High Commissioner to Singapore also spoke at the India Show.
Coinciding with The India Show, “Indovations” - India's ideas for the world – a Symposium was organized, which focused on key areas of the Indian economy such as manufacturing, services and infrastructure. India’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Mr Anand Sharma inaugurated the Symposium along with his Singaporean counterpart, Trade and Industry Minister Mr Lim Hng Kiang.
The event also featured an India Evening which included a performance conceived and choreographed by world renowned Indian artist, Padmasri Awardee Shovana Narayan. On this occasion, Indian and foreign dignitaries and guests had the opportunity to taste an exquisite selection of Indian wines and special Indian cuisine prepared by Chefs flown in from the Taj Group in India.