East Online Investments: India and Singapore

At the beginning of last month, India’s internet retail industry encountered substantial profits. This put it in the top three web-using region, boasting 74 million users. This is an increase of 31 percent since 2012.

This has led to an increase in India of online shopping, escalating the country’s e-commerce market by 66 percent last year, with a value of $16bn. Not only is this figure huge, but compared to the rate of the rest of the world – which stood at 18.3 percent – it is even more impressive. As well, within the next decade, it is expected to be valued at a staggering $56bn.

In addition, according to Snapdeal (an Indian e-commerce site), is planning to sell properties online. The idea is to offer affordable housing, in conjunction with the Tataconglomerate. This is the first such endeavor that India has encountered. When the project starts, around a thousand units will be offered in cities including: Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Chennai, Mumbai and Pune.

Moving on to Singapore investments, a recent US-based report valued a gaming company at $1bn – higher than other US tech companies. This is indicative of Singapore’s local tech industry advancing with additional venture capitalist investments and acquisitions over the last few years. Singapore was ranked 27th on the list of the top Internet companies by market from the World Startup Report. Indeed, it appears that South East Asia is one of the “fastest growing regions in the world,” vis-à-vis tech market. As such, Singapore’s gaming industry has been hailed as a “milestone” for the country’s start-up ecosystem, by CEO of the National Research Foundation, Professor Low Teck Seng.

Singapore has what to learn from India in the fiscal realm. According to Prime Minister Lee, India has been proving how social media technology can be used to enhance the quality of government, in particular through the MyGov platform. For more information on this endeavor, click here.

East and West Investments: True 2-Way Street

hague-osborneHistorically, it was western countries exporting to and investing in eastern countries. That has not been the case though for some time now. In the UK’s Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne’s recent statement, it was announced that £120m in funding is being allocated to new investments into India from the UK.

These days the west actively looks for investments in the east. Thus Osborne went with British PM William Hague to Mumbai to seek out investments. Some examples of these include: Cipla – a Mumbai-based pharmaceutical firm – to invest £100m into the UK for drug-based research; Mahindra – automotive manufacturer – investing £20m into the UK for the development of its electric vehicle technology, with the hope of having a car on sale in the UK within the next 12 months. JCB – construction machinery manufacturer – is set to open a further two plans in India. In total during the trip, the deals amounted to approximately £370 million (around Rs.3,800 crore).

In the military field, India’s Defense Ministry signed a contract valued at £250m with MBDA, the UK’s missile maker for “the supply of advanced short range air-to-air missiles (ASRAAM) to the Indian Air Force’s fleet of Jaguar aircraft.”

Currently, India is Asia’s third largest economy and has just encountered a political change of a new government led by Narendra Modi. Of this appointment, Osborne said, “I believe a stronger relationship with Britain will help deliver the new economic policy of the Indian government. Prime Minister Modi is seeking more investment in India’s economy – and I want British companies to provide it, and the British government to support it. Good days are coming for the financial partnership we can forge to build, literally, the infrastructure of the future.”

Since 2010 there has been an escalation in UK exports to India by 50 percent as well as an increase in imports by a third.

APR Investment Growth

Aleksey UlyukayevA plan has been put in place to boost investments in the Asia-Pacific Region (APR). The recent Asia-Pacific Economic Co-operation (APEC) conference encountered discussion on improving conditions in the region for potential investors. It is believed that there is plausible reason to anticipate a boom in trade.

APEC – launched at the end of 1989 – connects America, Australia, Canada, China, Japan, Malaysia, and other countries, totaling 21 members. Its most recent meeting was held a few days ago in Qingdao, China, with a goal of boosting partnership relations in the region.

Russian Minister of Economic Development Aleksey Ulyukayev expanded on the specifics of the goals. He said the aims were boosting activity on the Doha Round format, improving conditions in the Asia Pacific region, making a better case for Kazakhstan to join WTO.