By Reico Wong
MORE companies from India are likely to set up bases and pursue business opportunities here, thanks to a memorandum of understanding signed yesterday by financial-services provider Tata Capital and the Economic Development Board (EDB).
Under the agreement, Tata Capital will leverage on its strong corporate-customer base and its core capabilities in areas such as commercial finance, investment banking and private equity to offer strategic advice and financial solutions to Indian companies planning to expand overseas.
It will also facilitate collaboration and information exchange between the Indian companies and EDB.
Tata Capital established operations here in September 2007 and upgraded its Singapore division into its international headquarters last year.
Its loan book stands at about $4.2 billion.
Mr Praveen Kadle, managing director and chief executive of Tata Capital, said the company aims to draw small and medium-sized Indian firms to Singapore to explore opportunities.
Companies it hopes to woo include those in the information- technology sector, pharmaceutical and drug-research companies, and those involved in trading and supply-chain-related activities.
"More and more Indian companies are looking for growth opportunities in Asia," said Mr Kadle. "Even if India's economy grows at a rate of 7 per cent over the next 10 or 20 years, we should still see very strong economic, trading and financial- services exchange between India and Singapore."
Singapore's strong human-resource capabilities and its double-taxation treaties with many countries will also serve as pull factors, encouraging Indian firms to set up headquarters here, he added.
Mr Kadle said that by working with EDB, Tata Capital will be in the best position to help Indian companies leverage on Singapore's regional and international influence, while also contributing to the city-state's long-term prosperity.
To date, some 5,000 Indian companies have established a presence here. They form the largest foreign business community in Singapore.
Mr Lee Eng Keat, director of Singapore Welcome Centre for Corporates at EDB, said there is an increasing awareness of the opportunities Singapore, as a strategic business hub, can offer to Indian companies.
There are more than 7,000 multinational companies here, he said, adding: "As Indian companies get to know the large international community here, they can explore and understand the opportunities even in resource-rich countries.
"We can serve as an excellent springboard for them to go into the rest of the Asia-Pacific."
Tata Capital also seeks to become a major player in the private-banking sector here.
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