South Asian companies can become “truly globally competitive” by partnering Singaporean companies and participating in Southeast Asian infrastructure developments. “The infrastructural development needs in a rapidly growing Southeast Asia region thus represents an opportunity for South Asia companies to become truly globally-competitive,” Singapore’s Senior Minister of Trade and Industry, Sim Ann, said today. “When approached with a win-win mind-set, there is certainly scope for more mutually-beneficial partnerships to be forged between South Asia and Singapore companies to expand into third country markets such as those in Southeast Asia,” she said. Looking across South Asia, it is evident that home grown Singapore companies are increasingly proving their ability to cater to the region’s immense and niche infrastructure needs in both urban and rural environments, said Sim Ann at the opening of a symposium on “The Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) – Politics, Potentials and Partnerships”.
Through the expertise honed delivering projects in distinct environments, companies from both regions could become formidable partners when tackling the large and complex nature of infrastructure projects in Southeast Asia, she underlined. She said Singapore, as a centre for global trade, transportation, legal and financial services, can be a regional node for the growing number of companies seeking to venture into key markets along the 21st century Maritime Silk Road, including Southeast Asia and South Asia.
With its fast-paced urbanisation and large and growing middle class, South Asia is a bright spot of opportunity, she pointed out. There are many areas where companies can collaborate to tap on opportunities along the BRI, arising from South Asia and ASEAN’S growth and infrastructure needs, said Sim Ann, adding that infrastructure development and financing was one key area. The one-day BRI think-tank session was organised by the Institute of South Asian Studies of Singapore and Pathfinder Foundation Symposium of Sri Lanka.