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New programme to boost business ties between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh

A FRESH programme known as Sunrise was launched on Thursday to encourage more Singapore companies to explore business opportunities in the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh.

This will set in motion bilateral trade activities and establish institutions of commerce between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh, with the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) taking the lead.

This was announced by Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S Iswaran at the 4th Joint Implementation Steering Committee in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh.

The launch of the Sunrise programme coincided with the SBF-led business mission to the southern Indian state from Jan 8 -11 and the first joint meeting of the Andhra Pradesh – Singapore Business Council (APSBC), which was formed in February 2018.

The Sunrise programme is part of a broader partnership between the Singapore government and the state government of Andhra Pradesh to build the new capital city of Amaravati by 2024.

To raise awareness of the Amaravati project and the opportunities that it offers to the Singapore business community, the SBF aims to organise both outbound and inbound missions for companies to get valuable first-hand insights of their respective destination markets.

Business missions will include dialogue platforms and forums, site visits and networking with local businesses, government agencies, and associations and chambers. Among its various means of support for local companies, the SBF said that it will also facilitate high-level engagements, which will provide Singapore companies with access to government decision makers.

In addition to the sectors already identified for collaboration – such as food and agribusiness, construction and infrastructure – SBF will focus on two cross-sector themes of innovation and succession pipeline.

In the context of the wider Singapore-India Innovation Hub platform, SBF intends to tap into and enhance Singapore’s innovation ecosystem by onboarding Andhra Pradesh and Singapore firms to create an Andhra Pradesh-Singapore Innovation Corridor eco-system.

Through this, Singapore will be able to further enhance its knowledge economy, and build itself up as a fundraising, commercialisation and intellectual property hub for Andhra Pradesh and Indian companies.

SBF chief executive officer Ho Meng Kit said: “Amid the current global uncertainties and trade tensions, collaboration with Andhra Pradesh is a good way for businesses to diversify and expand overseas. Andhra Pradesh is also a good platform for businesses to establish a foothold and extend their operations to other regions in India.”