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Summit to connect India, world

The Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce plans to host 350 businessmen for a summit in April.

india Updated: Mar 27, 2006 16:08 IST

About 350 businessmen from India and the region are expected to converge here April 12-13 for the 'Connecting India Asia Pacific Business Summit' organised by a group of international trade organisations led by the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI).

The aim of the summit is to show the world how to use Singapore as a springboard to India and how India can use Singapore as a springboard to reach out to the world.

A report in the Today newspaper quoted Predeep Menon, the SICCI executive director and chief executive officer, as saying that a special focus this time would be on China.

"From almost zilch in the early 1990s, India-China two-way trade is expected to hit US$20 billion this year and China is expected to overtake the US as India's largest trading partner next year," he told the newspaper.

He said that what was happening now was "only the tip of the iceberg" and Singapore could provide the platform for companies from China and India to come together and do business.

"In terms of how we can match-make the two and have them do their partnership in Singapore in a cost-effective and timely manner, it is a platform that cannot be replicated anywhere else in the world," Menon was quoted as saying.

Apart from Chinese companies, SICCI is also pushing for participation by Japanese and South Korean companies eyeing to expand in the Indian market and Indian companies looking at East Asia.

Menon told the newspaper that 'India Calling', a conference organised in July 2004 by SICCI in Singapore, resulted in 20 deals worth close to $25 million being struck. This time, he said, he expected to almost triple that figure.

Among those expected to attend the summit are Indian Commerce Minister Kamal Nath, Tourism Minister Ambika Soni and a host of Indian industrialists including Lakshmi Mittal, chairman of Ispat International, and Prathap C. Reddy, chairman of Apollo Hospitals.