NEW DELHI: Singapore is one of the frontrunners to fulfil Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project of building 100 “Smart Cities” across the country.
Despite the challenges, Singaporean businesses said they see growth opportunities as India seeks new digital heights.
Mr Modi’s plan aims to rejuvenate Indian cities, which house 31 per cent of the country’s 1.2 billion population, with augmented urban services like potable drinking water in taps, traffic management, water and waste management, and health facilities.
These include the cities of Delhi and Mumbai as well as the provinces of Gujarat and Rajasthan, and Amaravati, the new capital city of southern Andhra Pradesh state.
Singaporean companies said there are immense opportunities in various sectors like construction, energy and manufacturing.
“India is going to the right direction where the governments are doing away with a lot of red tape to further the business development,” said Mr Koh Lin Ji, group director of international development at the Building and Construction Authority. “Yes, there are challenges but our firms are very optimistic that they can adapt, they can learn.”
The Modi government, which came to power last year, has been advocating business-friendly reforms to boost infrastructure investment and keep the economy growing. In its maiden budget, it has set aside US$1.11 billion for building smart cities.
Singaporean companies said they are confident of helping India achieve new digital heights.
“Singapore’s SMEs (small- and medium-sized enterprises), I believe, can come to contribute some of the…