NEW DELHI (TIP): Singapore is increasingly popular becoming a popular destination among Indian companies keen on globalising their businesses. “Singapore is seen (by Indian companies) as home away from home for their business growth on the international front because Asia is booming,” according to Lee Eng Keat, International Director at Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB). So far, Indian companies have invested US$ 14.11 billion during 2008-09 and 2011-12 in Singapore, said Keat. Several IT companies will accompany the other Indian enterprises already operating out of the city state. In addition, an Indian pharmaceutical major plans to set up its regional office in Singapore this year. “This year we will be garnering more Indian IT investments into Singapore as well as potentially a pharmaceutical project as well,” said Keat.
However, the name of pharma company was not disclosed. Keat was confident that more and more bio-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies would be locating their regional offices in Singapore. The advance levels of medical, diseases and drug researches undertaken by Singapore-based institutes would support Indian pharma companies’ global market plans.
Singapore was inviting international corporations in the field of pharmaceuticals to set up operations and business here, Mr Keat added. “We do feel that there are groups of companies in India that are looking into innovative drug developments and formulation capabilities and delivery mechanism,” said Mr Keat. More than 4,500 Indian companies have set up operations in Singapore to globalise their businesses or trades, making it the largest business community in corporate Singapore, ahead of the Chinese, Malaysians and Indonesians. Indian companies are looking at advantages of Singapore’s free trade agreements with China, Australia and Southeast Asia.
These treaties will enable them to lower the tariff for their exports of goods into these markets. Singapore offers basic financing need to these companies. Keat observed India was looking to increase its trade with China, and pointed out that Singapore offered one of the most competitive foreign exchange options, including Renminbi/Yuan (RMB). Singapore has recently been acknowledged asthe second clearing centre for RMB. China appointed the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Singapore branch as the clearing bank for RMB in Singapore in February 2013. Keat highlighted options of Singapore’s other financial capabilities including convertible bonds, currency hedging and participation in the equity markets.
The top Indian companies operating out of Singapore, includes Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and HCL Technologies as well as infrastructure group Punj Lloyd, highlighted Keat. “These companies see Singapore as a home for innovation. They are actually creating new solutions for their global clients,” he added. These companies have also built their skilled manpower from the cosmopolitan workforce in Singapore and international operations, said Keat. TCS had recruited its top management from Singapore for setting up operations in China, he added.