Singapore Invites Indian IT, Pharma Investments

02 Apr 2013

Immigration News

An Indian pharmaceutical major is expected to set up a regional office in Singapore this year, while several other IT companies will join the growing number of Indian enterprises already operating out of the city state, a senior government official said today.

“This year we will be garnering more Indian IT investments into Singapore as well as potentially a pharmaceutical project as well,” Lee Eng Keat, International Director at Singapore’s Economic Development Board (EDB), said.

Lee however refused to name the pharma company that is likely to open its office in the island nation.

He was confident that more and more bio-pharmaceutical and pharmaceutical companies would be locating their regional offices in Singapore.

Singapore-based institutes were undertaking advanced levels of medical, diseases and drug researches which 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, he said.

“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 Lee, who recently returned from a business development campaign in India.

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.

Singapore popular among Indian companies

The Indian companies have invested $14.11 billion between 2008-09 and 2011-12 in Singapore, said Lee citing data from the Reserve Bank of India.

“Singapore is becoming increasingly popular destination among Indian companies 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,” Lee said.

The Indian corporations were looking at advantages of Singapore’s free trade agreements with China, Australia and Southeast Asia.

“These treaties allow them to lower the tariff for their exports of goods into these markets,” said Lee.

Singapore was also offering basic financing need to these companies.

Lee 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 got the status as the second clearing centre for RMB.

In February 2013, China appointed the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Singapore branch as the clearing bank for RMB in Singapore.

Lee highlighted options of Singapore’s other financial capabilities including convertible bonds, currency hedging and participation in the equity markets.

Singapore’s legal infrastructure was based on English common law, a commonality with Indian law, he said.

Among other facilities, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre offer neutral ground for trade and business arbitration, which was increasingly being used by Australian, Chinese and other regional companies, Lee said.

Lee highlighted the success of some of the top Indian companies operating out of Singapore, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and HCL Technologies as well as infrastructure group Punj Lloyd.

“These companies see Singapore as a home for innovation.

“They are actually creating new solutions for their global clients,” he said.

These companies have also built their skilled manpower from the cosmopolitan workforce in Singapore and international operations, he said.

TCS had recruited its top management from Singapore for setting up operations in China, he added.



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