Impressive Mundra Growth

By: Property

AHMEDABAD: A delegation of the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, currently on a trip to Gujarat, on Thursday visited the Mundra port and other facilities being developed there in the private sector.

The chairman of the Chamber, Vijay Iyengar, said the 20-member delegation was highly impressed with the developments made in Mundra in the border district of Kutch.

The visit to Mundra, he said, was an 'eye-opener' to the delegation in terms of 'transformation' of the hitherto backward region and the scale of development carried out by the Ahmedabad-based Adani Group.

Visits SEZ, refinery

Besides the Mundra port, the delegation, led by the Singapore Senior Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Balaji Sadasivam, also visited the Mundra Special Economic Zone, the Adani-Wilmar edible oil refinery plant at Mundra, and had an aerial view of the 4,000 MW capacity mega power project, also being developed by the Adani Group, before returning to Ahmedabad in the evening.

The Rs.2,600-crore edible oil refinery is a joint venture between the Adanis and Singapore's Wilmar Holdings while the Singapore Investment Corporation Private Limited has invested over $120 million in the Mundra Port and the SEZ, both being developed by the Adanis.

In addition, a Singaporean company was also constructing the expansion project of the Essar oil refinery at Vadinar, about 40 km from Jamnagar in the Saurashtra region of the State.

Meets Modi, officials

During a meeting with Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi and some senior State officials, business leaders and others in the State during the last two days, the Singapore delegation showed keen interest in infrastructure development projects, real estate, ports, pharmaceuticals, oil and gas, petrochemicals and some other industrial areas in the State.

The delegation visited the Cadila Pharmaceutical company and held discussions with some other pharmaceutical giants in the State and reportedly evinced some interest in tie-up with some pharmaceutical companies in the areas of research and development as Singapore accounted for about 12 per cent of the drugs supplied to the United States and Europe.

Mr. Sadasivam also addressed a joint meeting of the Singapore and Gujarat-based businessmen and expressed the hope of further increasing the trade ties between India and Singapore; trade was $17.2 billion in the last year, an increase by about 20 per cent from the previous year. He said such trips would help the Singaporean businessmen to understand the investment atmosphere in Gujarat and the development of the State better.

Singapore was currently fourth largest investor in India with an investment of over $1.43 billion last year while India was its 11th largest trade partners.

Pointing out that his country's open door policy had made Singapore the gateway for the companies from the U.S., Europe and other continents to venture into Asia in the last four decades, Mr. Sadasivam said Singapore was now playing a similar role for Asian economic giants such as India and China in globalising their operations.

Mr. Sadasivam said strengthening of ties between Singapore and Gujarat was but natural as Gujaratis accounted for a large chunk of the people of Indian origin settled in Singapore.

While the State government invited Singapore to participate as a joint partner in the Vibrant Gujarat industrial summit to be held in January 2009, Mr. Sadasivam invited the Gujarat businessmen to attend the Singapore business summit, 'PBD-Singapore' to be held in Singapore from October 9 to 11 this year.

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