Singapore partners Maharashtra to develop masterplan

Republic will plan, develop infrastructure in Indian state's Pune city, develop its airport


Singapore has agreed to plan and develop urban infrastructure in the Indian city of Pune in Maharashtra state, and help develop its new airport.

The agreements were inked yesterday during a visit by Singapore's Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations S. Iswaran.

Mr Iswaran and Maharashtra Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis chaired the inaugural Maharashtra-Singapore Joint Committee meeting, where the two sides signed a framework agreement to facilitate Singapore investments in Maharashtra, said a statement from Singapore's Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI).

The ministers also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Enterprise Singapore and the Pune Metropolitan Region Development Authority (PMRDA) to plan and develop the Pune Metropolitan Region.

"The MOU between Enterprise Singapore and PMRDA today adds to our strong partnership and will boost Singapore companies' participation in urban infrastructure, transport and logistics, and manufacturing opportunities in the region," said Mr Tan Soon Kim, assistant chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore.

Pune, an information technology centre and a hub for automobile and chemical manufacturing, is the second-largest city in Maharashtra after Mumbai.

Surbana Jurong - which helped with the masterplan of the capital city of Amaravati in Andhra Pradesh - was appointed as the master planner for the Pune Metropolitan Region, which spreads across almost 7,255 sq km. The firm said it will review existing regional plans and provide recommendations for an integrated masterplan for the region in 10 months' time.

The masterplan will include proposals for land use, infrastructure and transport, the firm said.

Separately, Changi Airports International was presented with a letter of award by Maharashtra Airport Development Corpfor providing advisory services for the proposed new Pune Airport, said MTI.

Mr Iswaran said the collaborations will "open doors to greater opportunities" for Singaporean firms.

"The partnership with Maharashtra marks another key milestone in our bilateral economic ties with India," he said.

"It will also strengthen Singapore's reputation and expertise in smart city development and urban rejuvenation."

Maharashtra is known as a gateway to India because of its port and air connectivity and its capital city Mumbai, the financial capital of the country. The western state also has the largest presence of Singapore companies, including PSA Corp, DBS Bank, Charles & Keith, Ascendas-Singbridge, EtonHouse and Ademco.

The state has a gross domestic product of US$300.5 billion (S$403.2 billion) and accounts for 12.9 per cent of India's GDP, the highest among all Indian states.

Besides Maharashtra, Singapore is already helping the state of Andhra Pradesh develop its new capital city, Amaravati, and working with the states of Assam, Rajasthan and Madhya Pradesh to develop skills centres.

The collaborations also deepen India-Singapore ties amid a frequent exchange of high-level visits.

Mr Iswaran, who is accompanied by officials from MTI and Enterprise Singapore, will meet members of the Indian Cabinet today in New Delhi, MTI said.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 17, 2018, with the headline Singapore partners Maharashtra to develop masterplan. Subscribe