SINGAPORE FIRMS KEEN ON SMART CITIES
Businesses in Singapore want to invest in Indian Smart Cities, with special focus on water treatment, renewable energy and technology financing, Teo Siong Seng, chairman of Singapore Business Federation, said.
He was speaking at an interaction organised by the Ficci. A business delegation from Singapore is accompanying its Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on a three-day visit to New Delhi. Singaporean companies praised the government’s efforts to liberalise foreign investment and facilitate doing business. But investors complained of difficulties in accessing information on investment opportunities, a Singapore official told Business Standard.
On Tuesday, India and Singapore signed three agreements, including one on cooperation in skill development and another on intellectual property. Also, Indian companies will be allowed to sell rupee-denominated bonds in Singapore to finance infrastructure projects.The Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement between the two nations signed in 2005 is also under review.While the two sides have decided to expedite the process, a second review of the pact has been delayed by six years over India’s demand for more access for its professionals and banks. Singapore maintains Indian banks must meet certain quality benchmarks to operate there.
Finance Minister Arun Jaitley will head the Indian delegation in bilateral financial dialogue while the Singaporean delegation will be headed by its Deputy Prime Minister Tharman Shanmugaratnam.Trade between India and Singapore has been declining with Indian exports falling at a faster rate. Bilateral trade declined 11.25 per cent to $15.02 billion in 2015-16 from $17 billion in 2014-15, according to official estimates.