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Singapore and India offer business opportunities

Monday, 10 December 2001 Media Statement

Singapore and India offer opportunities for business.


Commerce, Communications and IT Minister Paul Swain has returned from a nine-day mission to Singapore and India enthusiastic about the business opportunities available in both countries.

The government is committed to opening doors and working with businesses to take up some of those opportunities Paul Swain said.

“In Singapore I met with ministers, agencies and business leaders. I visited a new science and technology park called ‘One North’. The first stage of that development, called ‘Phase Z.Ro’ is a low cost facility where small New Zealand IT and hi-tech businesses can have a presence in Singapore for very low rental and servicing costs.

“There they can mix with other innovators, make contact with Singapore businesses and venture capitalists and use Singapore as a base to enter the bigger Asian market particularly India and China.

“Singapore has established itself as a hub in the region and there are huge opportunities for those who want to take their first step from there into the global market place.

“I also discussed a proposal from the Wellington Creative cluster for a dedicated broadband link between New Zealand and Singapore.

“In India there was considerable warmth and interest shown in New Zealand – helped by the fact we share two languages - English and cricket.

“Once again we met with key ministers, business people and officials including their three biggest software companies Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), Wipro and Infosys.

“TCS is considering setting up a software development centre in New Zealand that would become a hub servicing Australia and New Zealand, and ultimately Asia-Pacific. This would be a huge boost to the IT industry in New Zealand and we are actively encouraging their involvement here.
“Tata has already provided software assistance to Social Development Ministry, the New Zealand Dairy Board and Tower Insurance.

“Wipro is interested in the health, finance and gaming areas and Infosys has shown interest in our e-government project.

“I also met with Indian education provider KarROX. They specialise in certified training programmes for Microsoft, Cisco Systems, Sun Microsystems and the like.

“They have already formed a joint venture with the Auckland Institute of Studies and intend using New Zealand to springboard their training programmes into China, Taiwan, Korea and the Pacific using New Zealand as a hub.

“While in Delhi I signed an IT agreement to help develop joint programmes to facilitate investment, joint ventures and other business activities in areas such as IT, telecommunications and e-commerce.

“I also discussed the potential for exporting New Zealand prefab pine classrooms to India. India is currently working to provide education for all children aged up to 14 - which means they need thousands of new classrooms. Our classrooms are fire resistant, very cost competitive, easily constructed and are transportable. Indian State Ministers were very interested in the proposal which is now being progressed by Trade NZ.

“New Zealand has become a hugely popular destination for Indian tourists and students due largely to the many Indian films being shot in New Zealand.

“For our part The Lord of the Rings will open in India in 70 centres and in three languages in February. This could result in business opportunities for kiwis involved in the multimedia entertainment industry.

“The opportunities for New Zealand business in this region are huge. New Zealanders are seen to be innovative, flexible and smart and hooking up with on of world’s biggest IT powerhouses must be good for business in both countries,” Paul Swain said.


ENDS

The summary of Paul Swain’s trip will be posted to the ECAT website (www.ecat.govt.nz) - any business interested in pursuing interests with India should contact Trade New Zealand.

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