Telangana, Andhra Pradesh eye S'pore infrastructure expertise

Telangana, Andhra Pradesh eye S'pore infrastructure expertise

INDIA'S newly created state of Telangana and the state from which it was carved out - Andhra Pradesh - are both looking to Singapore as they try to bulk up on infrastructure and build new cities.

The chief ministers of both states, who are newly elected, expressed their desire to visit Singapore and look at different possible areas of collaboration during Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam's visit to Hyderabad, the two southern states' shared capital, yesterday. The states were split last month.

"I had two very good meetings with two new chief ministers," Mr Shanmugam told the media.

At his meeting with Andhra Pradesh leader N. Chandrababu Naidu, he conveyed "warm greetings" from Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

"He (Mr Naidu) has asked for close collaboration and cooperation with Singapore and his state. He has tremendous challenges but he has also got a plan to deal with the challenges," said Mr Shanmugam. "His vision is to make Andhra Pradesh a logistics hub with good connectivity."

Mr Naidu also plans to build a new petrochemical hub and wants to visit the Jurong Island plants.

Similarly, Telangana Chief Minister K. Chandrasekhar Rao is keen for Singapore's input as he builds up the new state, which has large underdeveloped areas.

Singapore has investments in the old Andhra Pradesh. Singapore there include Sembcorp Industries, which has investments in two power plants, and Ascendas India Operations, which manages IT parks in the state.

The main aim of the southern leg of Mr Shanmugam's five-day visit to India is to look for further collaborations. He is in Tamil Nadu today, where he is scheduled to meet Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa, one of the country's most powerful regional leaders.

"Singapore companies have investments in Andhra Pradesh... (and) investments in Tamil Nadu.

My context is to really touch base to see what we can do with them and talk about our investments and see what more we can do together," he had said in earlier comments to The Straits Times.

This article was first published on July 4, 2014.
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