SINGAPORE: Singaporean companies still believe in long-term opportunities in India despite the recent plunge in rupee value and the weakening economic outlook, according to a media report.
“It has a competitive, qualified labor force and global companies will continue to choose India to conduct their businesses,” The Straits Times Monday quoted Khiatani as saying.
“The country’s real estate sector is in its growing phase and we believe key sub-sectors including industrial, IT and commercial space will continue to see steady demand,” he said.
Singapore-listed Religare Health Trust (RHT), which has a portfolio of health-care assets in India, was banking on the Indian market potential, especially citing the shortage of hospital beds relative to rising demand.
RHT chief executive Gurpreet Dhillon said strong and sustained growth in the Indian health-care sector was being driven by solid fundamentals such as a growing middle class, an ageing population and changing disease profiles.
India has a “huge untapped demand but limited supply” of serviced residences to cater to rising numbers of expatriates and travelers, added Alfred Ong, managing director for strategic development and Indian market at The Ascott which has two serviced residences in Bangalore and Chennai and would open five more over the next few years.
The general consensus about India was still positive, even though the country faced challenges in the short-run, said Benjamin Yap, regional director for South Asia at trade promotion agency, International Enterprise Singapore.
Yap saw new opportunities for Singapore companies in the infrastructure, manufacturing and consumer goods sectors in the Tier 2 cities such as Pune, Lucknow and Visakhapatnam, especially after growth saturates in Tier 1 cities like Mumbai, New Delhi and Bangalore.
“India continues to pursue economic liberalization, creating opportunities for foreign investors, including Singapore companies. What we are seeing is a short-term issue which should not detract companies from the market’s long-term potential,” Yap said.
The Straits Times also cited other business executives expressing concern about India’s red tape, complicated tax environment and challenges of dealing with bureaucrats.
International media reports have highlighted foreign investors pull out of Indian stocks and bonds on the back of economic uncertainties. -PTI