Over the last two decades, India and Singapore have established a strong strategic partnership and built strong commercial, linkages. This partnership garnered an impetus for the launch of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ in the early 1990s, and rechristened ‘Act East’ in 2015. The Act East Policy was a great initiative that was implemented in the proper manner, focusing on developing relationships through increased economic and cultural exchange. Both countries have been actively promoting economic, political, and cultural relations since then.
Singapore is the most attractive FDI hub in Southeast Asia, with its FDI intake rising 42% to $110 billion led by the ICT and technology sector. With this Singapore has put all its economic efforts into FDI and creating a suitable trade environment. All its strategies have turned Singapore into one of the easiest cities in the world to do business in.
Singapore is ranked second among 190 economies in the World Bank’s ‘2020 Ease of Doing Business Report,’ indicating that it has the most productive regulatory environment for doing business. Startup companies need all the help they can get to achieve their maximum potential. Even the most dogged of entrepreneurs cannot operate in an environment that is hostile to start-up business growth.
As Singapore’s Government encourages new enterprises and offers them a variety of resources, including grants, tax incentives, and in-kind aid, the services are complemented by world-class facilities, which cater to education, recreation, healthcare, and other supports for making it a prime choice for entrepreneurs and business owners. The sort of assistance provided is determined by your start-up’s demands as well as its capacity to meet the eligibility criteria. By incorporating your business in Singapore, you gain access to a plethora of resources. Singapore’s Government has established several initiatives and subsidies to support new sectors. Nearly all large global VC funds have a presence in Singapore and target start-ups that are based here.
In the last few decades, India’s economy has made some progress, whereas Singapore has become a showcase for economic progress and is now considered to be a premier first-world economy. The economic relations between India and Singapore, especially in the areas of trade and investment, have strengthened over the years. The growing importance of technology in India, including artificial intelligence, data analytics, and healthcare digitisation, presents a great opportunity for collaboration between both countries.
One factor that works to Singapore’s advantage is its location. Any start-up based in Singapore place itself right at the doorstep of multiple emerging economies in South-East Asia, including Indonesia and Thailand. Singapore is linked with the rest of the world thanks to its excellent infrastructure. For many start-ups, expanding to the international markets in the early stage is crucial and Singapore provides a much better platform.
According to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s ‘Look East’ policy, the two countries inked many memorandums of understanding (MoU) and agreed upon investing in science, technology, innovation, start-ups, and fintech emerging as the new spheres of bilateral engagement between the two countries. This new opportunity will open new ways for India’s start-ups to explore the Singapore market.
India and Singapore added new momentum and direction in their strategic partnership to leverage the start-up ecosystem. Recently, I led a delegation, including 16 incubated start-ups, to Singapore. The delegation was focused on networking and upscale business connectivity and technology collaboration for Indian start-ups at the global level. The delegation attended several sessions organised by senior officials from the IIT Alumni Association Singapore, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and other agencies/ institutions. The meetings focused on understanding the numerous new business opportunities and collaboration in the global market.
We shall encourage efforts to create multiple opportunities for Indian start-ups and entrepreneurs to reach the ASEAN and worldwide market via Singapore. This long-term bilateral collaboration will help the start-up ecosystems of both countries in every possible manner.