Singapore, India 'can work together to tackle challenges'

(From left) Mr Pitroda, Mr Srinivasan and Mr Yeoh sharing their views yesterday at the IIMpact thought leadership conclave, which was moderated by Mr Velloor, Straits Times associate editor.
(From left) Mr Pitroda, Mr Srinivasan and Mr Yeoh sharing their views yesterday at the IIMpact thought leadership conclave, which was moderated by Mr Velloor, Straits Times associate editor.ST PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM

There are compelling opportunities for collaboration between India and Singapore in tackling challenges, particularly in the areas of trade, infrastructure and financial services.

That was the consensus arrived at by a discussion panel at the start of the two-day IIMpact thought leadership conclave yesterday.

The discussion, moderated by The Straits Times associate editor Ravi Velloor, focused on re-imagining the future relationship between India and Singapore.

Economic Development Board managing director Yeoh Keat Chuan said the coming decade will likely be characterised by significant levels of technological development, alongside the growth of Asia's consumer base and rapid urbanisation. "All of this will give us both challenges and opportunities," he said.

Mr Yeoh believes the next phase of Singapore's economic development could be "innovative-intensive", and hopes Singapore can tap on India's market of 1.3 billion people, as well as others in the region.

India still lacks in infrastructure, specifically those in commercial and public administration, said Mr Shyam Srinivasan, chief executive of The Federal Bank, a major private bank in India.

He pointed to the need to develop a more vibrant corporate bond market, for instance, where firms are heavily dependent on bank lending. "To develop such a market in India, you need markets like Singapore, which can act as an intermediary."

Technopreneur Sam Pitroda said India could also learn from Singapore in "going vertical" in urbanisation and infrastructure, which will help optimise land use.

The IIMpact conference, organised by the Global IIM (Indian Institutes of Management) Alumni ends today and has attracted some 1,200 delegates from around the world.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 09, 2016, with the headline 'S'pore, India 'can work together to tackle challenges''. Print Edition | Subscribe