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Innovation Corridor to help Singapore companies pilot urban solutions in Indian state of Andhra Pradesh

International Enterprise Singapore (IE Singapore) has announced initiatives to help Singapore companies access opportunities in the state of Andhra Pradesh in India. IE Singapore is co-developing an Andhra Pradesh-Singapore Business Council led by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to drive private sector business collaboration. In addition, an innovation corridor will be developed for Singapore companies to pilot innovative urban solutions and scale up in Andhra Pradesh.

These initiatives were announced at the 24th Partnership Summit in Andhra Pradesh today. The MOU signed by SBF and CII for the Andhra Pradesh-Singapore Business Council, witnessed by Singapore’s Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) Minister S Iswaran, and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Nara Chandrababu Naidu. These follow the MOU signed last year for greater collaboration between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh in economic development through identifying business opportunities and sharing expertise.

Supported by business-friendly policies such as the Single Desk Policy (a one stop window to approve new investments within 21 days), Andhra Pradesh has consistently been ranked amongst the top Indian states to do business. It is one of the fastest growing states in India with Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) growth of 11.6% in 2016, above the national average of 7.1%.

The Andhra Pradesh-Singapore Business Council will comprise company representatives from both Andhra Pradesh and Singapore. This association-led initiative aims to drive private sector partnerships between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh across priority sectors including smart infrastructure, agrifood and logistics. The council will also identify common projects, conduct business matching, and hold regular missions and events.

In a joint statement issued by the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) today, Amaravati Partnership Office and the Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority announced their partnership on an Innovation Corridor to promote greater collaboration on innovation. The Innovation Corridor is a platform to discover, pilot and scale Singapore’s innovative urban solutions in Amaravati [1], its capital city, with the aim to expand across India and rest of the world.

A consortium comprising Singapore companies Ascendas-Singbridge Pte. Ltd. and Sembcorp Development Ltd. was selected for master development of the commercial core of Amaravati, which is planned to be a green, smart and sustainable city. Previously IE Singapore had signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Infrastructure Corporation of Andhra Pradesh in December 2014 to jointly master plan Amaravati. IE Singapore coordinated with its integrated arm, Singapore Corporation Enterprise to carry out the master planning and Surbana Jurong was appointed as the master planners in January 2015.

Singapore companies can now develop and pitch solutions based on challenges identified in the building of Amaravati. The solutions if selected will be piloted in the city. Singapore’s Amaravati Partnership Office and the Government of Andhra Pradesh will set up a taskforce to facilitate this through innovation events to source for innovative urban solutions.

The first Innovation Corridor cycle is currently planned for the Happy Cities Summit in Andhra Pradesh in April 2018 and the World Cities Summit in Singapore in July 2018.

Mr Tan Soon Kim, Assistant Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of IE Singapore, said, “Building upon the strong Government-to-Government ties between Andhra Pradesh and Singapore, these two initiatives will deepen our partnership and open up new avenues for Singapore companies to access opportunities in Andhra Pradesh. The Andhra Pradesh-Singapore Business Council will promote regular interaction and business collaboration between the private sectors of Andhra Pradesh and Singapore, while the Innovation Corridor will provide more direct access for Singapore’s innovative urban solutions to be implemented in Amaravati. IE Singapore will continue to work closely with SBF and our in-market partners to help Singapore companies understand the market landscape and capture diverse opportunities in Andhra Pradesh.”

Mr Ho Meng Kit, CEO of SBF and Mission Leader, commented, “The establishment of the Council is timely as SBF steps up our engagements with Andhra Pradesh. This mission is the Federation’s second visit here in 6 months, and is intended to explore in greater depth some priority sectors which have been earmarked, such as ports and logistics; agribusiness; and building and construction. We have engaged the Council and Secretariat of our fellow Trade Associations and Chambers (TACs) on Singapore’s involvement in Andhra Pradesh over the past months. SBF will be working closely with them moving forward, to further structure and translate these opportunities to the wider Singapore business community. Some of the other key sectors in the immediate term include technology; food manufacturing and processing; and tourism and hospitality.”

[1] A new state of Telangana was carved out of Andhra Pradesh in June 2014. According to the legislative bill creating the new city, the capital of the combined state, Hyderabad would be the capital city and part of Telangana, while the city would remain the capital of Andhra Pradesh for no more than ten years. So, the new city of Amaravati will serve as the capital of Andhra Pradesh.

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