Singapore: The Singapore International Chamber of Commerce (SICC) plans to appoint two Industrialists from India on its board as part of its campaign to recruit Indian multi-national corporations as corporate members.

"Our strategy is to get more Indian MNCs involved in the chamber and senior members of these corporations as board members," SICC Chairman Shanker Iyer said on Wednesday.

As SICC celebrates its 175th anniversary as the oldest chamber in Singapore, Iyer said, "We are in discussions with a number of Indian senior corporate executives and we hope to have two of them join the SICC board at the annual general meeting scheduled end of June."

Likely candidate for the SICC board membership was not announced."[But] We are looking at members of Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) to become our members," he stressed.

"...Prominent member of Indian corporations on board will help increase SICC membership of Indian MNCs," he said, underlining the growing importance of the Indian economy to international corporations based in Singapore.

The SICC's move to woo Indian corporations comes in the midst of massive growth in bilateral trade between India and Singapore.

Total trade between the two countries has increased by a hefty 51 percent between financial year 2006-07 and 2010-11.

Bilateral trade increased by 24.17 percent to US USD17.4 billion in 2010-11, USD10.3 billion of which was India's export to Singapore, according to data from India's Department of Commerce.

Bilateral trade has surged further by 25.2 percent to US USD21.8 billion from April 2011 to January 2012.

Elaborating on the growing importance of the India-Singapore economies, Iyer said he expected some form of alliance or synergy with CII.

"It is our India focus as not many major Indian companies are members of the chamber," he said, adding that SICC represents more than 800 corporations from 40 countries operating in Singapore.

There was also a call from SICC existing members, especially European and American groups, for getting Indian and Chinese MNCs as well as other regional corporations as
members, he revealed.

"As of now, SICC's Indian MNC membership count is very low," said Iyer, adding "We offer our platform and expertise on doing business in Singapore and Asia, especially new and emerging markets."


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