At a high-level India-Singapore CEOs’ Forum attended by Indian Minister Shri Piyush Goyal yesterday (18 Feb), Singapore Minister S Iswaran assured that Singapore will continue to stay open, especially in current challenging time of global pandemic.
Goyal is a powerful Indian minister who heads 3 ministries in India: Ministry of Commerce and Industry, Ministry of Railways, and Ministry of Consumer Affairs, Food and Public Distribution. Mr Shri Periasamy Kumaran, the High Commissioner of India to Singapore, also attended the meeting.
Iswaran said, “As a small city-state connected to the world, we are keenly aware in Singapore, that shutting our doors is not an option. We will continue to work in partnership with our close friends, like India, to tap on each other’s strengths for mutual benefit.”
He assured Minister Goyal that Singapore remains committed to the relationship with India.
“I wish to assure our friends from India that Singapore remains open to international business, investment, and talent. Even in these trying times, the strong ties that Singapore and India have built over the years have enabled us to keep up the momentum of our engagements,” Iswaran said.
Iswaran noted that Singapore and India are now embarking on new “exciting areas” such as FinTech and added that Singapore remains bullish on India’s potential and entrepreneurial capacity.
“We are the largest foreign investor in India, with investments of around US$2 billion announced since 2019,” he said. “We have likewise encouraged Indian businesses to establish themselves in Singapore.”
Iswaran also noted that Indian companies form the largest overseas contingent that have invested in Singapore and many have “significant presence” here.
He also took the opportunity to commend India for its “impressive growth”. He said, “India has had an impressive growth story. Singapore was an early believer and advocate of India’s immense potential; many might recall the start of “India fever”, ignited by our then-Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong in the 1990s.”
Iswaran called for collaboration with India in the digital economy. “We invite India to partner Singapore as we invest for the future, by building digital bridges of cooperation,” he said. He added that it will help improve Indian businesses’ connectivity with Southeast Asia, tapping on Singapore’s supportive regulatory environment for innovation. In turn, Singapore companies stand to benefit from India’s market and talent pool, he said.
Iswaran concluded his speech reiterating his confidence that the India-Singapore partnership will continue to flourish, with a keen eye on new opportunities and an unwavering commitment to the peoples of both countries.