IT WAS a busy four days (Jan 9-12) for Mr S. Iswaran in India. He started his India visit in Delhi and then moved on to Ahmedabad and Andhra Pradesh.
Mr Iswaran who is Minister, Prime Minister's Office, Second Minister for Home Affairs and Second Minister for Trade and Industry, was there to launch Vistara airline's first flight to Gujarat's capital Ahmedabad where he took part in the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit.
"For SIA, this is a project in the making for some time. I think seeing it come to fruition in the new year in the context of an event like the Vibrant Gujarat is a welcome development," Mr Iswaran told reporters after landing in Ahmedabad from Delhi on a Vistara aircraft.
SIA holds a 49 per cent stake in Vistara while India's Tata Sons holds the remaining 51 per cent.
While in Ahmedabad, Mr Iswaran called on India's prime minister Narendra Modi. They discussed the Indian government's 100 smart cities initiative, that includes a plan to create new cities and upgrade infrastructure in existing cities. He also called on Gujarat chief minister Anandiben Patel.
The following day, he attended the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in which Singapore was a partner for the first time.
Said chairman of Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) Dr R. Theyvendran: "Prime minister Modi has been opening doors to the international business community under his leadership and this has created renewed interest in the Indian market." Dr Theyvendran had a 30-strong delegation with him.
Mr Iswaran, who addressed the summit on the opening day, said the 100-strong group of Singaporean businessmen attending reflects the high level of interest and confidence that Singapore's business community has in the investment and business opportunities offered by Gujarat and the rest of India.
He mentioned that Singapore is in talks with India to help build new cities and explore new opportunities to create townships as well as industrial and IT parks. Mr Iswaran also visited the Singapore Pavilion, set up by International Enterprise Singapore, where about 20 Singapore companies showcased their capabilities in a wide range of sectors such as urban solutions, manufacturing and energy.
Mr Iswaran then flew to Hyderabad to meet Andhra Pradesh chief minister Chandrababu Naidu. Currently, both Andhra Pradesh and Telangana share Hyderabad as the capital.