HYDERABAD: Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu on Monday had a ‘private meeting’ with Singapore’s Second Minister for Trade and Industry S Eswaran and reportedly discussed the modalities to make Singapore agencies partners in the construction of Amaravati through Swiss Challenge Method.
The ‘private meeting’, on the second day of his three-day official visit to Singapore, took place amidst opposition criticism that Naidu was taking all decisions regarding the new capital like his ‘private affair’.
After the meet, giving a lecture at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS), Naidu made an open appeal to the island nation to become a partner with AP in the construction of Amaravati.
“I first asked the Singapore agencies to come up with a master plan for our capital. They did. Now, I’m asking Singapore to join us to build our capital. I’m hopeful they will come forward to do this as well,” Naidu said.
“The advantage we have (AP) is that we are the only State with such a long coast on the east and we aim to develop AP as logistics hub of Southeast Asia. We are ranked second in cargo handling in the country and we will reach the top position.”
Despite challenges, Naidu said, the government sees capital building as one of the greatest advantages for the State. Amaravati would not only serve as an administrative area but also model itself as an economy and knowledge driver.
“I’m also happy to inform you that our State has been ranked second in Ease of Doing Business by World Bank, after Gujarat. I’m confident that we will rise to the top spot next year,” he added.
From tourism to logistics, agriculture, infrastructure, industries and other sectors, the Chief Minister elaborated on the potential for investments in AP.
“I invite each one of you to come to AP at least with one project. Come, experience AP and invest in our State,” he told the gathering.
Asked by a participant about AP’s initiatives to help start-ups, Naidu said, “In my last stint as the Chief Minister, I had promoted entrepreneurs. Now, I want to promote start-ups and MSMEs. I want to make AP the Silicon Valley of India. We already have established a Start-up Village in Visakhapatnam. We are also going to start an innovation fund. A venture capital fund and an incubation centre are on the cards.”
Earlier, in the welcome address, Gopinath Pillai, ambassador for Singapore government, said the overwhelming response at ISAS was a mark of Naidu’s popularity in Singapore. “He built the IT sector in AP and is famously known to be the brain behind Cyberabad. Now, he is building the new capital of AP, Amaravati,” he said.