Singapore wants a joint ministerial committee set up to identify sectors in which India can best utilise the city state’s expertise in developing urban infrastructure, including in the building of “smart cities” and providing urban solutions.
Singapore Foreign Minister K. Shanmugam, who met Prime Minister Narendra Modi earlier this week, told The Hindu in an interview here that Mr. Modi was “focussed” in outlining the areas in which India needs assistance, and spoke about his vision for smart cities, upgrading skills and the development of industrial corridors.
India has said it wants Singapore companies to participate in urban development and services projects in the Delhi-Mumbai and Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridors. India also wants Singapore to participate in projects in the Northeast and in developing infrastructure on the Buddhist sites circuit.
“We have suggested that the way to do it,” Mr. Shanmugam said, ‘is for a platform to be setup with some ministers on both sides and senior officials. First we need to identify which of these areas — because India will have many people who want to invest, each of them will have their own areas of expertise — Singapore can participate in, where India may want Singapore to come in, and what is the legal and fiscal framework.”
Singapore has also suggested a time frame of four or five months, so that “by the time the two Prime Ministers meet some time later this year, there will be some concrete outline of what can be achieved,” the Foreign Minister said. The two Prime Ministers are expected to meet at multilateral events at the end of the year.
“The role of the two governments is to try and create the structure that can provide the framework that will make it attractive for the private sector on both sides to combine and build something for the benefit of the people. And it must make sense for them as corporations.”