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Indian chief minister keen on studying Jurong Island: Shanmugam

The Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh told Singapore's Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam that his state is looking at constructing a new petrochemical hub and wants to study the Jurong Island model.

INDIA: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu says he wants to study Singapore's Jurong Island model, as his state is looking at constructing a new petrochemical hub.

Foreign Affairs Minister K Shanmugam revealed this, as he continues his five-day official visit to India. He also met the Chief Minister of Telangana, and Mr Shanmugam said he had constructive discussions with both leaders. 

Telangana's Chief Minister K C Rao is also in discussion with many countries, including Singapore, to develop his newly-created state.

Both Chief Ministers, especially Mr Naidu, wanted to learn from Singapore's experiences in bribe eradication and good governance.

"I had two very good meetings with the two Chief Ministers," said Mr Shanmugam. "The state of Andhra Pradesh is now divided into two. So I met the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh. I think Mr Naidu knows Singapore very well. He's a long-standing friend of Singapore. And he has made many engagements with Singapore. And he has been a great admirer of what has been achieved in Singapore. So he asked that his officials come to Singapore and understand a number of specific areas, then he wants to come as quickly as possible as well. And he asked for close collaboration and cooperation between Singapore and the state.

"He's got tremendous challenges, but he also has plans to deal with the challenges. His vision is to make Andhra Pradesh a logistics hub with good connectivity with its airports and ports. He wants to build many more roads. He wants to improve the IT attractiveness of Andhra Pradesh. He has plans to build a big petrochemical complex, so he wants to come and see Jurong Island," Mr Shanmugam said.

"He wants to improve governance, and he also placed a particular emphasis on rooting out corruption, and he wants to understand and work with us. And I said that we work through the programmes, and all the areas of his interest. We will take him around, make presentations and then he can decide which part of the experience is available and useful, and where we can collaborate."

"So it was a very good meeting. And I sent him the warmest greetings from our Prime Minister and our ex-Prime Minister, Mr Goh Chok Tong who are good friends.

As for Mr K C Rao, Mr Shanmugam says he knows Singapore "a little bit less well", but that he is also an admirer of Singapore. "He expressed his desire to visit Singapore and wanted his officials to visit Singapore. He also has similar challenges with his new state. They are both looking at urban planning, urban solutions, creation of new cities. Urbanisation is important for jobs, so these are all areas we are looking at, and obviously they are looking at many countries, not just Singapore. And I said within our abilities, we'll share whatever we are able to."

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