The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) Conference 2017 has chosen the theme ‘Understanding and Overcoming Challenges India’. The daylong event is scheduled from 8 am to 4 pm on October 2, 2017 and H.E. the High Commissioner of India, Singapore, Mr Jawed Ashraf is set to deliver the keynote speech on the occasion.
Speaking exclusively to Connected to India, he said, “We want to create channels that will allow the East to connect with India. There is a need to improve the ease of doing business as well as being open to doing business. Our government plans to improve the processes through which people can enter, work in and leave the Indian market.”
He also mentioned the 25th India-ASEAN anniversary and talked about special events such as a regional India-ASEAN Pravasi Bharatiya Divas from January 6-7, 2018 to commemorate the event, adding, “We don’t intend this to be a one-off event. We will be holding an event on startups along with the Singapore Fintech festival to create a digital bridge with India, among others.”
SICCI Chairman Dr R Theyvendran said that India is a market brimming with potential and that under PM Modi's favourable and open policy environment, there are many significant investment opportunities in India for Singapore companies.
"The Smart Cities initiative also opens doors in the energy, building, and logistics sectors. Singapore is seen as a smart nation that is very relevant to the aspirations of new India," he said.
Speaking about how similar events as the conference have helped businesses work with India, he said, "Besides conferences, we have organised many overseas trade missions to create opportunities for our members to network with business leaders, associations and government bodies in various countries. With our wide network, on-ground knowledge, and extensive experience, the Chamber is well placed to help businesses seize opportunities both in Singapore and in the international arena."
As part of the drive to develop closer economic, social and political ties, the Suntec Singapore Convention and Exhibition Centre is set to host prominent business leaders, diplomats and politicians taking part in the conference.
“While we want to encourage local businesses to go into India to take advantage of the opportunities present, we also want them to be mindful of some of the challenges that they will face. We would like to equip them by bringing about a greater awareness of how these challenges can be overcome and better prepare themselves so that their chances of success of doing business in India is higher. This conference aims at helping the investor to better understand some of the Legal, Taxation and Banking challenges that they may encounter,” Sunil Peter, the CEO of SICCI, told Connected to India.
Vikram Nair, a Member of Parliament for Sembawang Group Representative Constituency in Singapore since 2011, will be the Guest of Honour for the conference. A lawyer by profession, he is Chairman of the Government Parliamentary Committee for Defence and Foreign Affairs and Chairman of the Parliamentary Friendship Group for India.
The conference will be moderated by the Executive Chairman of the AJP Advisers Group Allen J Pathmarajah. He is the Adjunct Professor, School of Business at Singapore University of Social Sciences. Speakers on the occasion include experts from legal, business, international enterprises and taxation sectors who will share their knowledge on the particular issues the two countries need to tackle in pursuing greater openness and economic development.
“In the current environment in India, taxation and exchange control regulations are not the biggest challenge for the foreign investors. Having said that, they will continue to be two key areas to be mindful of and should be addressed at the planning stages of market entry. Commercial landscape challenges such as finding the right JV partner, raising capital, conducting market feasibility and locational analysis, state level labour laws, laws governing contract enforcement are also important points to consider while planning to invest into India," said Ajay K Sanganeria, Tax Partner, KPMG in Singapore, who was invited to be the Taxation speaker for the conference.
“While the challenges may be in many areas, in this conference, we are focussing on three areas – Legal, Tax and Banking. We hope to revisit this topic every year and cover other areas that we perceive to pose a challenge. IE Singapore will also be speaking at our conference on how they have helped companies to succeed in India,” Peter added. Scheduled speakers are listed below and more details can be found here.
Legal - Chandra Mohan Rethnam, Head Commercial Litigation, Rajah and Tann, Singapore
Taxation - Ajay Kumar Sanganeria, Tax Partner, KPMG Singapore
Banking - Amit Sinha, Managing Director, Global Head, Telecommunications Media & Technology, DBS Limited
International Enterprise Support - Tay Lian Chew, Group Director, North and South Asia Group, International Enterprise Singapore
Register here to attend the SICCI Conference 2017, and use the promo code CONNECT2INDIA for a special discount.