Singapore woos Indian tech firms as back-up hub

Monday, 29 December 2003, 08:00 Hrs
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NEW DELHI: Singapore, with its good infrastructure, robust IT and telecom network and political stability, is wooing Indian tech firms to set up back-up or disaster recovery centres there.

The city-state is hard-selling itself as an ideal destination for Indian IT companies to set up their disaster recovery centres and use Singapore as a base for marketing their products in the Asia Pacific region.

"We strongly encourage Indian companies to come to Singapore and explore the possibility of setting up their back-up centres there," said Mohan Mirwani, country director (India) of Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) of Singapore.

IDA is a statutory board of the Singapore government and operates under the ministry of information and communications. The authority works closely with the private sector to create a vibrant environment for IT in Singapore.

"We offer the infrastructure, high quality technology connectivity, political stability, and quality manpower base at a very affordable cost. These factors make Singapore an ideal destination for disaster recovery centres," Mirwani told IANS.

Amid mounting fears over terrorism in the post 9/11 scenario, firms across the world are eager to establish back-up sites where they can move quickly to continue operations if a disaster strikes.

Indian software makers realised the need for setting up disaster recovery centres, also known as business continuity centres, after India and Pakistan came to the brink of war in May 2002.

Singapore and Mauritius, the tiny Indian ocean island better known for its idyllic beaches, have emerged as the preferred destinations for Indian companies to set up business continuity centres.

While Satyam Computer Services and Polaris Software have set up their back-up centres in Singapore, Mauritius has managed to attract Infosys Technologies - India's largest listed software exporter.

Mauritius offers tax concessions to Indian companies as a result of a treaty signed between the two governments. It is India's biggest foreign investor.

"Many Indian companies have already made their presence in Singapore and we expect a slew of others to follow suit. Singapore's infrastructure and strong support for the IT sector far outweigh the benefits that Mauritius offers," said Mirwani.

"Singapore is the least bureaucratic destination in the world. Our visa processing system is very fast and one needs very few approvals to set up a shop there," he added.

"IT companies can set up their development centres within no time and start operating quickly. A company also gets international recognition by setting up its base there."

The IDA official said there were over 6,000 multinational companies in Singapore and most of these firms were customers of Indian software makers and technology services providers.

"The back-up centre can also be used as a hub for spearheading marketing initiatives all across the Asia Pacific region and in some European countries as well," said Mirwani.

Source: IANS
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