New Delhi, Nov. 22: India and Singapore are looking to ratchet up their business ties with companies from the two countries focusing attention on information technology and IT-enabled services, pharmaceuticals, media, telecom, consultancy, shipping and construction sectors.
Both countries have plans to establish links for the medium term (two-five years), says the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Ficci).
In a survey conducted by Ficci to assess trade and investment potential and major operational hurdles between the two countries, 80 per cent of the 184 companies (Indian and Singapore) surveyed said that there experience with each other was good or even better than expected.
Almost 50 per cent of the Indian and Singaporean companies which plan to trade with each other in the near future feel that IT and IT-enabled services, pharmaceuticals, media, telecom, consultancy, shipping and construction have the greatest potential.
Highlighting major hurdles, 60 per cent of Indian companies felt that lack of information about business opportunities were restricting growth. On the other hand, 42 per cent of the Singaporean companies ranked red tapism and lack of information as the biggest stumbling block.
Over 14 per cent of Indian companies forsee their chances to tap Singapore markets as decidedly positive. Another 19.4 per cent of the respondents felt that there prospects of capturing Singapore market were good.
In addition, 16.7 per cent of the Indian companies felt that poor connectivity between the two countries and “legal hassles” imposed by the Singaporean authorities and an unfriendly tax system were major impediments. The Indian companies hope to see a free trade mechanism established with Singapore soon. According to the study, 18.2 per cent of the respondents reckoned that the fine-tuning of the double taxation agreement was also an important issue.