Jaishankar in Singapore: Promotes India’s semiconductor industry, pays homage to Netaji, delivers lecture

Indian External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar, who is in Singapore for a three-day visit (March 23-25), yesterday met Singapore’s business community leaders and briefed them on India’s semiconductor industry.

Jaishankar in Singapore talks about his book
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar in Singapore, speaking on his book Why Bharat Matters. Screenshot courtesy: X/@DrSJaishankar

“There is a degree of purpose and seriousness as well as investment going into manufacturing that has not been seen for a long time,” Jaishankar told a 300-plus audience, mostly Singapore-based members of the business community.

Jaishankar meets corporate leaders in Singapore
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar meets corporate leaders in Singapore. Photo courtesy: X/@DrSJaishankar

The visiting Indian minister’s schedule includes a meeting with Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, and he has already delivered a lecture at the Institute of South Asian Studies (ISAS) of the National University of Singapore (NUS) combined with a session discussing his book Why Bharat Matters.

Today, Jaishankar addressed a gathering of the Indian community in Singapore.

Upon arrival yesterday, Jaishankar paid tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose, the great Indian leader and freedom-fighter, at a Singapore landmark. He posted on X: “Began my Singapore visit by paying homage to Netaji and the brave Indian National Army soldiers.”

The X post added: “The INA Marker in Singapore recognizes their deep patriotism and indomitable spirit that remain an inspiration for generations to come.”

Jaishankar pays tribute to Netaji in Singapore
Indian External Affairs Minister Dr S Jaishankar pays tribute to Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose in Singapore. Photo courtesy: X/@DrSJaishankar

After this, Jaishankar delivered the lecture and met the Singapore business leaders.

Interacting with the business leaders, the Indian EAM talked about the strides taken by India in the field of manufacture of semiconductors; he urged them to invest in this key sector in the country.

Also read: PM Modi attends India’s Techade: Chips for Viksit Bharat event, lays foundation stone for 3 semiconductor facilities

Jaishankar spoke about how machines for the manufacture of semiconductors had started coming to India, and also how India was progressing towards establishing the first three plants for this multi-billion dollar industry. He was answering questions at ISAS, after a talk on his book Why Bharat Matters.

Following this, Jaishankar shared some photos and posted on X: “A very productive interaction with leading Singaporean corporate figures. Appreciate their positive feedback on the India growth story, based on investment experiences. Confident that their commitment to doing more business in India will further increase.”

Addressing his audience yesterday, Jaishankar highlighted “a very good global manufacturing response to the Production Linked Initiative (PLI) Scheme”, but at the same time reminded the listeners that India had missed the manufacturing bus in the previous decades.

Semiconductors are an essential component in almost everything, from electronic gadgets to consumer goods and from solar panels, satellites to weapons. Currently, India imports almost 90 per cent of its requirements of semiconductors.

Combining the two primary focus areas, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Make in India,’ the Modi government has launched ‘India Semiconductor Mission’ as a specialised and independent business division to enable India’s emergence as a global hub for electronics manufacturing and design.

Jaishankar told the investor audience about the three semiconductor plants being set up in India, and said, “We have started to get machinery for semiconductors today to start to build in India.” The manufacturing message was being taken across the country, and clearly with better logistics and better talent, he pointed out.

The EAM also informed the audience that the Government of India had entered into agreements with the country’s universities for training. This would be done by modernising and tweaking engineering courses in a way that would support the flow of resources for the semiconductor industry.

“Right now, we are actually looking at a plan which would give us in the coming years at least 85,000 new people for jobs in the semiconductor zone…. [This] is something which we expect to grow,” said Jaishankar to the Singapore audience.

Elaborating on India’s goals for economic growth, he said, “That is something which is happening, the 2030 goal, and there’s a 2040 goal, and there’s a 2047 goal.”