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Singapore wants enhanced trade ties with India

Singapore's Minister for Trade and Industry, Gan Kim Yong, was recently in New Delhi and spoke at the 28th Annual Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) Partnership Summit where he encouraged Indian businesses to increase their investments and trade with Southeast Asia.

The summit titled "Partnerships for Responsible, Accelerated, Innovative, Sustainable, and Equitable Businesses", was held at the Taj Palace, New Delhi, March 13-15, and chaired by Indian minister of Commerce, Piyush Goyal. It was organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Department for Promotion of Internal Trade and Industry, (DPIIT), Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Covering a wide range of subjects of global interest for governments and businesses, the 2023 edition of the summit is the largest held since 1995.

In his speech, Singapore's minister for trade and industry, Gan highlighted the opportunity for Indian businesses to expand into ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations).

Gan said, "As India drives towards a USD30 trillion economy by 2050, my challenge to Indian businesses is to increase your investment in ASEAN by at least ten-fold to 20 billion USD by the end of this decade."

Singapore's trade minister also believes that merchandise trade between India and ASEAN has plenty of room to grow and encouraged Indian businesses to find partners to seize opportunities in ASEAN. He cited data that showed that between 2020 and 2021, trade between ASEAN and India grew by just 1 per cent and is only 2 per cent of ASEAN's total trade.

Gan suggested that combined with India, this creates a market of more than 2 billion people - a quarter of the world's population - with an expanding middle class of 500 million. He also suggests that Singapore and India can explore partnerships in new areas such as renewable energy and supply chain resilience.


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