January 8, 2024
CHENNAI – Singapore companies will invest $5 billion in several areas, including infrastructure, technology, sustainability and data centres, in Tamil Nadu, expanding Singapore’s presence in the southern Indian state.
The announcement was made on Jan 7, on the first of a two-day Tamil Nadu Global Investors Meet being held in Chennai, the capital of Tamil Nadu.
A media release by Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said the investments include $500 million by CapitaLand Investment in business parks, logistics and warehouses and a data centre.
CapitaLand Investment already has a presence in more than 20 tech and business parks, industrial, logistics, lodging, data centre and coworking assets in seven Indian cities, including Chennai.
Separately, Lionsbot, which designs and manufactures automated industrial-scale cleaning robots, will partner top universities in Tamil Nadu to set up training laboratories and design hardware and software courses.
Singapore firms are also generating employment in Tamil Nadu state, with Crayon Data aiming to create 150 direct and 350 supporting jobs within the next three years. Crayon Data provides AI-led solutions in banking, fintech and travel industries. The company has a global development centre in Chennai and a workforce of 150 employees.
“The latest pipeline of collaborative initiatives and associated investments shows that Singapore companies are strategically building the breadth and depth of their engagement in Tamil Nadu,” said Mr Tan Soon Kim, deputy chief executive officer of Enterprise Singapore (EnterpriseSG), an agency under MTI.
“This is testament to the strong opportunities and investor-friendly policies of the state.”
Memorandums of understandings were signed between the Singapore companies and GuidanceTN, the investment promotion agency of the Tamil Nadu government. The investments by the Singapore firms will be implemented over several years
MTI noted that Tamil Nadu is “often the first port of call for Singapore companies looking at South India, given the cultural and historical familiarity between both states”.
The state , with a population of 72 million, is the second-largest contributor to India’s gross domestic product, behind Maharashtra, whose capital is Mumbai.
Tamil Nadu’s ambition is to be a US$1 trillion (S$1.33 trillion) economy by 2030, and it has been aggressive in wooing foreign investors. Its chief minister, Mr M.K. Stalin, travelled to Singapore in May last year to attract investments from the South-east Asian nation.
The Singapore delegation to the investors’ meet, led by Singapore High Commissioner to India Simon Wong, included officials from MTI, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and EnterpriseSG, as well as 60 business representatives from the Singapore Business Federation and the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Speaking at one of the sessions at the meeting, Mr Wong highlighted the potential for Tamil Nadu and Singapore to explore the export of promising renewable energy solutions, such as green hydrogen and green ammonia, from India to Singapore.
A host of other deals were announced at the investors’ summit between the Tamil Nadu government and Indian and foreign firms, including Tata Electronics, Pegatron and Hyundai Motors.