Singapore: Demonetisation will have “marginal” impact on India’s growth and the country will continue to remain a bright spot this year despite political and economic uncertainties across the world, Indian High Commissioner Jawed Ashraf has assured investors in Singapore.
“India’s growth rate, underlying growth drivers, the policy environment and macroeconomic indicators were in much better shape than other major economies, and ‘remonetisation’ will have only a marginal short term impact on growth and generate several long-term gains,” he told Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) members last night.
Ashraf explained how India’s reforms in policies and processes – both at the Centre and in the states – have addressed each stage of the project lifecycle, including with respect to bankruptcy, arbitration and disputes settlement.
“Besides infrastructure and the initiatives for transformation of urban and rural habitats, the time-bound mission to provide universal access to basic needs and the use of digital technology for financial inclusion, delivery of benefits and provide social security and insurance cover to the poor, are also major drivers of economic growth,” he said.
“India’s sustainable development initiatives were among the most ambitious,” he told some 300 SICCI members gathered during the dinner for an update on Indian economic prospects.
He went on to highlight that Singapore’s strengths and priorities, including Small and Medium Enterprises, innovation, fintech, diversifying international links, have enormous synergies with India.
Ashraf also called on SICCI to be a business-building bridge between India and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region. “In a year when we are celebrating 25 years of India-ASEAN relations, SICCI can be the bridge between India and the region,” he told the business leaders.
SICCI, a 1,000-business member grouping, has the experience of dealing in the region, the network of contacts and skill, to help further develop bilateral business between India and the region, said Ashraf.
India is on the right path this year in developing its economy, implementing massive infrastructure projects. But “we are doing this in partnership with the rest of the world…
with Singapore being the most important partners,” he said.
Singapore has the eco-system that would draw the region’s investors, he said in his first interaction with the Indian business community, who have 8,000 firms registered here.
“Singapore also provided the intellectual leadership in bringing the ASEAN and India closer, and became a gateway to East for us,” he said.
While India-Singapore relationship draws its strength and energy from the good will, warmth of the ties and human contacts, SICCI, with the backing of the private sector, has the capacity to lead regional investors to India, he said.
Besides Singapore’s state-owned corporations’ projects in India, there are big and small businesses driving the economic relationship between the two countries, he said.