Remarks by Minister S Iswaran at the Tamil Nadu Investment Conclave

Remarks by Minister S Iswaran at the Tamil Nadu Investment Conclave

Honourable Chief Minister Thiru M K Stalin,


Honourable State Minister of Industries, Investments, and Commerce, Dr T R B Rajaa,


High Commissioner of the Republic of India, His Excellency Mr P Kumaran,


Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, Guidance Tamil Nadu, Thiru V Vishnu,


Chairman, Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Neil Parekh,





1. Good afternoon and thank you for inviting me to the Tamil Nadu Investment Conclave.  I am especially pleased to be at this event with Chief Minister Stalin and his team. When Chief Minister Stalin and I met in Chennai in September last year, we discussed his government’s economic strategy and plans for Tamil Nadu, and the potential for new areas of cooperation with Singapore. I am therefore glad that Chief Minister is here with us today to share his vision, and the opportunities in Tamil Nadu, with our business community.


2. Chief Minister Stalin, on behalf of our Government and people, I warmly welcome you and your distinguished delegation to Singapore.  The participation at this conclave attests to our business community’s interest in and recognition of Tamil Nadu’s significant economic potential.


Tamil Nadu and Singapore relations


3. Tamil Nadu and Singapore enjoy close economic ties, with robust trade and investment links. Over the decades, Singapore companies have made significant investments in Tamil Nadu in sectors such as industrial parks, infrastructure, and IT services.   Similarly, many companies from Southern India have chosen Singapore as their regional headquarters.


4. Tamil Nadu has embarked on an ambitious plan to become a trillion-dollar economy by 2030. A key thrust is to grow the state’s manufacturing and green economy sectors. Singapore companies are keen to contribute to the realisation of this vision, and participate in Tamil Nadu’s growth story.


a. For example, I am pleased to note that Hi-P has signed an MOU with Guidance Tamil Nadu to establish its first manufacturing plant in India. Hi-P specialises in electromechanical components and is a contract manufacturer for the telecommunications, lifestyle and computing industries.


b. In the green economy, CapitaLand has established green-certified International Tech Parks and green buildings.  Sembcorp has also invested in renewable energy projects in Tamil Nadu, and continues to seek opportunities in the green energy space.


5. To foster closer ties between our business communities, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and Guidance Tamil Nadu have signed an MOU covering investment promotion, research and innovation, as well as trade diversification and supply chain resilience.  This will facilitate business matchmaking, promote the joint development of new technologies, and open up new opportunities for partnership.


Strengthening cooperation in new areas


6. Building on this foundation, Singapore hopes to deepen collaboration with Tamil Nadu in new areas of mutual interest.  I would like to highlight three promising areas: the green economy, the digital economy, and skills development.


Sustainability and the Green Economy


7. Sustainability and decarbonisation are key global imperatives, and businesses play an important role in this effort.  Today, Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry has exchanged an MOU with the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu, or SIPCOT, to cooperate on a “Sustainable Industrial Park”, which will serve to develop and test innovative solutions for decarbonisation in manufacturing and trade.  It will bring together Singapore agencies like the Centre for Liveable Cities and JTC Corporation as knowledge partners for SIPCOT, the developer of industrial spaces in Tamil Nadu.  The aim is to establish pilot projects that incorporate sustainability into masterplanning, financing, logistics, renewable energy, and water and waste management in the park.  Singapore companies have developed some expertise in these areas, which can be leveraged for mutual benefit through our cooperation with Tamil Nadu and Indian companies.


Digital Economy


8. The digital economy is the other driving force for growth.  This includes “Industry 4.0”, or smart manufacturing, solutions to help companies improve their manufacturing capabilities and productivity.


9. Our governments are working together to support MSMEs in their journey towards Industry 4.0. Digitalisation, automation, data analytics, and e-commerce can help MSMEs reduce costs, scale-up and reach new markets. That is why Singapore’s MTI has signed an MOU with FaMe TN and Startup TN, to share best practices for building the capabilities of our MSMEs in Industry 4.0.  It will help MSMEs take advantage of digital platforms and digital IDs to conduct trade and investment activities between India and Singapore.


Skills Development


10. Finally, on skills development.  Singapore and Tamil Nadu are also working to strengthen our people-to-people connections through two MOUs.


a. First, the Institute of Technical Education Education Services, or ITEES, MOU with the Tamil Nadu Skills Development Corporation will facilitate partnership in areas such as Technical and Vocational Education and Training consultancy, skills and staff capability development.


b. Second, the MOU between the Singapore University of Technology and Design, or SUTD, and Guidance Tamil Nadu will enable SUTD to partner universities in Tamil Nadu to explore student and faculty-related initiatives and programmes.  SUTD students will have the opportunity to intern with companies based in Tamil Nadu.  SUTD will also be a knowledge partner to Tamil Nadu universities, contributing to the education, innovation, and skills development eco-systems in the state.


c. These collaborations will not only enhance skills and knowledge exchange but also contribute to the development of a skilled workforce in Tamil Nadu.




11. Allow me to say some words in Tamil before concluding.


மான்புமிகு முதலமைச்சர் M K Stalin அவர்களே, உங்களையும் உங்கள் அமைச்சர்களையும் அரசாங்க அதிகாரிகளையும் சிங்கப்பூரில் வறவேற்பதில் நாங்கள் பெருமகிழ்ச்சி அடைகிரோம்.


உங்கள் வருகையால் தமிழ்நாட்டுக்கும் சிங்கப்பூருக்குமிடையுள்ள ஆழமான நட்பும் உரவும் மேலும் பலப்படுமென்று நான் நிச்சயமாக நம்புகிறேன்.


வருங்காலத்தில், தமிழ்நாட்டில் மிக அதிகமாக பொருளியல் வளர்ச்சியும் அதற்கு சமந்தப்பட்ட வாய்ப்புகளும் உருவாக்கப்படும் என்று நாம் நிச்சயமாக நம்புகிறோம்.


அதற்கு முக்கிய காரணங்கள் - அரசாங்கத்தின் தொழில்நுட்பத்துடன் அமைக்கப்பட்ட கொள்கைகள், அதை செயல்படுத்த சிறந்த திட்டங்கள், மற்றும் திறமையான ஊழியர் அணி. இவை அனைத்தும் சாதகமாக இருக்கின்றன.


அதனால் சிங்கப்பூர் நிறுவனங்கள் தமிழ்நாட்டில் முதலீடு செய்ய, இந்த வளர்ச்சியில் அவர்களும் பங்காற்ற மிக ஆவலாக் இருக்கின்றன. உங்கள் வருகை, முக்கியமாக உங்களுடைய கொள்கைகளும் திட்டங்கலும் எங்கள் முதலீலாலர்களுடன் பகிர்ந்தகொள்வதின் மூலமாக, அவர்கள் முடிவெடுப்பதற்கு மிக வசதியாக இருக்கும்.


அதே வழியில், தென்கிழக்கு ஆசியாவிலும் நிறைய வளர்ச்சி வாய்ப்புகள் உள்ளன. தமிழ்நாடு நிறுவனங்கள் இந்த வட்டாறத்திற்கு ஏற்றுமதி செய்யவும் பல வாய்ப்புகள் இருக்கின்றன.


மொத்தமாக பார்க்கும்போது, உங்கள் வருகை இந்த நெருக்கமான உரவுக்கு இன்னும் அதிகமான ஊக்கம் கொடுககும்.


12. In conclusion, Tamil Nadu serves as an ideal entry point for Singapore companies into the state and India, given its favourable business climate, talented workforce, and supportive government agencies.  I would like to urge all our businesses to actively network with the visiting delegation and seriously explore the economic opportunities in Tamil Nadu and India.  Thank you.

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