Singapore firms explore business opportunities in Gujarat, India

SINGAPORE - Some 70 delegates from 40 Singapore companies are in the Indian state of Gujarat to "further business interests in India's second fastest growing state", said trade agency IE Singapore.

The Singapore delegation is led by Mr S Iswaran, Minister in the Prime Minister's Office, and includes representatives from firms across sectors such as urban solutions, construction, logistics, energy, and information technology.

Some of the participating companies were Hyflux, Meinhardt, Jurong Consultants, and Sats.

This visit follows the partnership forged last month between Singapore and the southern Indian state of Andhra Pradesh to master plan and develop the state's new capital city.

"Fundamentals that make Gujarat a viable destination for businesses are its strategic location on the West Coast of India, and excellent connectivity and power infrastructure," noted IE assistant chief executive Tan Soon Kim, who was also part of the delegation.

"Whilst certain challenges continue to exist as with most large developing economies, we can take heart that India's recent economic reforms and initiatives bodes well for the future.

"A window of opportunity exists at this moment for Singapore companies to move in early to establish first-mover advantage and deepen business linkages."

Singapore nuts manufacturer Tong Garden also announced the setup of its agri-processing unit for packaged foods and snacks in the Sanand city of Gujarat - which will be its first manufacturing facility in India.

"India is set to be one of the world's fastest growing consumer markets, and presents a rising opportunity especially for food-and-beverage brands like Tong Garden," said the snack maker's managing director James Ong.