will discuss investing in India at Singapore meet (Special)
Around 600 wealthy NRIs will gather in Singapore next month
to discuss investing in India. They will be in the company
of the cre`me de la cre`me of industry, academia and leaders
of the governments of Singapore and India.
This is the Pravasi Bharatiya Divas (PBD), to be held Oct
9-12, a premier international conference organised by the
Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (SICCI),
the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs (MOIA) and the Confederation
of Indian Industry (CII), with the support of the governments
of Singapore and India.
This business-focused conference in Singapore reaches out
to the Indian diaspora in the Asia-Pacific region and beyond.
Here is a 'regional' PBD, according to sources in MOIA. Regional
PBDs are held in response to many requests to host the main
PBD outside India. Since the main event is held in India,
the ministry agreed to hold regional PBD events in other parts
of the world.
Many countries have requested MOIA to host such events in
the future and these may be held in Europe, Africa or the
Caribbean. The first regional PBD was organised in New York
last year and now the second one is in Singapore next month
at the request of the Singapore government that is supporting
it and also partly financing it.
Considering the progress of the Indian economy, Singapore
wants to appear as the gateway to India from the East and
the gateway for Indian companies to reach out to the Asia
The event is in the interest of both India and Singapore to
increase their business, economic, political and cultural
relations. Special focus is investment both into India and
Singapore. The leading speakers from Singapore include President
S.R. Nathan (an NRI); Lee Hsien Loong, the prime minister;
Goh Chok Tong, senior minister; Lee Kuan Yew, the former prime
minister and minister mentor; S. Jayakumar, deputy prime minister;
and captains of business and industry.
The line-up from India is also impressive: Vayalar Ravi, minister
for overseas Indian affairs; Kamal Nath, minister for commerce
and industry; Kapil Sibal, minister of science & technology;
Sam Pitroda, chairman, National Knowledge Commission; Rajendra
Kumar Pachauri, chairman of the Nobel-winning Intergovernmental
Panel on Climate Change; and top industry and business leaders,
including K.V. Kamath, managing director, ICICI Bank, and
the president, Confederation of Indian Industry.
Other speakers, including a few non-NRIs, have been invited
from India, Singapore, the US and the Gulf; but mostly from
Singapore and India. About 500 to 600 delegates, at least
95 percent NRIs, from Asia and the Pacific region are expected
to attend and some may come from the Gulf and other countries
The chambers of commerce of Asian countries and some Indian
states scouting for foreign investment will be represented
along with top executives of regional development organisations.
As India and the rest of South Asia emerge as key players
within the new world economic order, SICCI is well poised
to offer great advantages to businesses in Singapore and India
through its constantly expanding global network.
The recent protests against Tata's car plant at Singur can
cast a shadow on India's investment prospects but the investors
know that it occurred in West Bengal as a reflection of its
politics and culture and this situation is not prevalent in
other states of India. Moreover, the Indian government can
counter the negative fallout.
The programme takes off with a high powered welcome reception
Oct 9 hosted by minister Ravi and Balaji Sadasivan, senior
minister of state in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Singapore,
and where other speakers will include Kamath, S. Jayakumar,
and Vijay Iyengar, chairman of SICCI.
Loong, the Singapore prime minister, is the guest of honour
at the opening the next morning. "The Scenarios for the
Next Generation" will be discussed at lunch with Tong,
Singapore senior minister. The session "From Lab to Market"
is tailormade for minister Sibal from India. The core issue
of finance and banking will be moderated by Lee Kuan Yew.
At the gala dinner, Singapore President Nathan will be the
guest of honour.
The next morning, a number of concurrent sessions will explore
issues such as sustainable development - which way next?,
youth and education, arbitration and business dispute resolution
- the Way Forward, tourism and hospitality, and infrastructure
- access, connectivity and growth. The closing session in
the afternoon will have as its theme, Asia Pacific diaspora
- towards a dynamic diaspora.
In case you want to attend, the closing date for registration
is Sep 19 at Singapore $500 per person; more details from
(Kul Bhushan previously worked abroad as a newspaper editor
and has travelled to over 55 countries. He lives in New Delhi
and can be contacted at email@example.com)
Indo-Asian News Service