Business chambers from India and Singapore have initiated a collaboration through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) to reach the larger Southeast Asian markets through an MoU inked on Thursday.
The MoU signed by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) will provide handholding and facilitation to MSMEs of both sides as well as other businesses to help establish bases and joint ventures.
At the MoU signing ceremony held following the India 101: Internationalisation Conference, Jawed Ashraf, India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, said, “Singapore has always been a gateway for India into Southeast Asia and just think of the opportunities that Singapore’s SMEs can have by being a bridge for Indian companies into Southeast Asia.”
Ashraf added that India together with the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is building a new platform ‘Business Sans Borders’, that will connect Indian businesses through Singapore to the ASEAN.
The 70-million-member strong Confederation of Indian Traders’ Association and the Federation of Indian Export Organisations are in the platform, which has also attracted business and trade associations from the Philippines and Singapore, he said.
The Indian High Commissioner also called on the SICCI to be a bridge between the two nations and highlighted the Indian MSMEs desire to access the South East Asian markets.
Ashraf disclosed that Singapore’s Fast Payment System, FAST, which is a fast and secure transaction, with India’s Unified Payment Interface would provide seamless ways of exchanging payments for SMEs as a very efficient tool.
During the occasion, various other officials from the Indian MSMEs were also present and spoke on the importance of the MoU.
The FICCI and SICCI MoU will provide handholding and facilitation to both sides – Indian MSMEs and Singapore SMEs as well as other business to help establish bases and joint ventures,” said H P Kumar, Co-chair of FICCI MSME Committee, who signed the MoU for Indian side with SICCI CEO K Barathan.
Kumar stressed on India and Singapore enterprises to collaborate in trade partnerships and technology transfer.
“Fintech and NBFCs are sectors where Singapore can play a role,” he pointed out.
SICCI Chairman Dr T Chandroo said, “India is at an exciting intersection of transformation and sustainable growth, driving innovation and value at scale.”
The programme was also attended by the senior dignitaries of the Singapore government.
Tan Wu Meng, Singapore’s Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Trade and Industry, said, “Trends tell us that India is on the move, and one of the most favourable destinations for Singapore firms to expand to, particularly sectors such as consumer goods, digital economy, logistics, infrastructure and urban development.”
He added that businesses are exploring economic opportunities in India on government-to-government partnership basis such as Singapore has with the Andhra Pradesh government.