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India-Singapore tie-up to venture into ASEAN markets

‘Business sans Borders’ platform


‘Business sans Borders’ platform

Dr H P Kumar, Co-Chair FICCI MSME Committee and K. Barathan, CEO of SICCI signed the contracts joined by representatives from both chambers.


India and Singaporean trade bodies, backed by their respective governments, have initiated collaboration through Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises to reach the larger South East Asian markets.

The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding that will engage Indian MSMEs and Singapore’s Small and Medium Enterprises in the South East Asian and Indian markets.

Speaking at the MoU signing on 29 Aug 2019 in Singapore, India’s High Commissioner to Singapore, Jawed Ashraf, announced that India together with Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) is building a new platform “Business Sans Borders” which will connect Indian businesses through Singapore to the ASEAN region.

“We are together with MAS (Monetary Authority of Singapore) are building a new platform “Business sans Borders” that will connect MSMEs and traders in India and ASEAN through Singapore,” he said.

The 70-million-member strong Confederation of All India Traders and the Federation of Indian Export Organizations are in the platform, which is also being joined by business and trade associations from the Philippines and Singapore.

“Singapore has always been a gateway for India into South East Asia and just think of opportunities that Singapore SMEs can have by being a bridge for Indian companies into South East Asia,” said Jawed Ashraf.

The High Commissioner also called on the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry to be a bridge between India and Singapore.

He highlighted the Indian MSMEs desire to access the South East Asian markets.

Jawed Ashraf disclosed that Singapore’s Fast Payment System, FAST which is fast and secured transaction, link up with India’s Unify Payment Interface would provide seamless ways of exchanging payments for SMEs as a very efficient tool.

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, elaborated Dr H P Kumar, co-Chair of FICCI MSME Committee, who signed the MoU for Indian side with SICCI CEO K. Barathan.

Kumar impressed on Indian and Singapore enterprises to collaborate in trade partnerships and technology transfer.

“Fintech and NBFCs are among the Indian sectors where Singapore can play a role,” he pointed out.

“The eco system in both the countries is very positive. Both the governments have clearly laid the foundation and express the intention that we need to collaborate,” said Kumar.

“India is at an exciting intersection of transformation and sustainable growth, driving innovation and value at scale,” noted SICCI Chairman Dr T. Chandroo at the “India 101 Internationalization Conference” held in Singapore, preceding the MoU.

“SICCI is well-placed to assist small and medium-sized organizations in Singapore in their efforts to tap into this potential and grow their business,” he said.

India 101 serves as a platform for Singapore SMEs to identify business opportunities in India and help expand their operations and capabilities, providing an avenue to learn from industry experts and leading businesses, Dr Chandroo elaborated.

“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,” added Tan Wu Meng, Singapore’s senior parliamentary secretary for Trade and Industry.

He highlighted business exploring economic opportunities in India on Government-to-Government partnership basis such as Singapore has with the Andhra Pradesh Government.

Lending Singapore government’s support to the conference and MoU, Tan singled out a young Singapore startup, Shopmatic, which has already transformed thousands of MSMEs in India by connecting a diversity of e-commerce elements into a complete ecosystem.

“With just Rs.50, merchants can use Shopmatic’s platform to create entire e-commerce stores in minutes,” Tan told some 200 business executives at the India 101 Internationalization Conference.

The conference was organized by SICCI to help companies better understand the Indian business and cultural landscape, market potential and regulatory environment.

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