The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu has very close cultural connections with Singapore, and the state’s Chief Minister MK Stalin sought to extend this into trade ties with a visit to Singapore that has resulted in six Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs).
During his first ever visit to the island nation this week, Stalin reportedly proposed a monument to Singapore’s founding father Lee Kuan Yew (LKY) in the Indian state. He met the representatives of major industrial and financial institutions, and two Singapore ministers of Indian origin.
Stalin, 68, came to power in Tamil Nadu just over two years ago, in May 2021. This week, he has undertaken a two-nation tour of Singapore and Japan. This trip is intended to connect with investors from Singapore and Japan and invite them to a Global Investors Meet in Chennai, scheduled for January 2024. While in Singapore, Stalin spoke at the ‘Investors’ First Port of Call’, addressing a huge gathering at the event organised to mark his visit.
He met with Singapore ministers Thiru S Iswaran, Minister of Transport and Minister-in-Charge of Trade Relations; and K Shanmugham, Minister of Home Affairs and Law.
Stalin tweeted that it was “a pleasure to meet” his “long-time friend” Iswaran, and that he had given the Singapore minister his “warm invitation” to the Global Investors Meet in Chennai. He also posted about his “fruitful meeting” with Shanmugham, with whom he discussed “a wide range of issues” like “cybersecurity, strengthening of procurement systems, and skilling of youth seeking employment”. The home affairs minister was also invited to the global event in Chennai next year.
The MoUs signed during Stalin’s visit include a proposed investment of INR312 crore by Singapore-based Hi-P International to make electronic components in Tamil Nadu, a venture that could create 700 jobs.
Stalin said at the Singapore investors’ meet, “In order to play a vital role in shaping the economy of India, we in Tamil Nadu have set ourselves the target of becoming a one-trillion dollar economy by the year 2030. We are making all efforts to achieve our target.” He urged Singapore investors to come to Tamil Nadu and invest in “mutually beneficial” ventures.