MISSION SINGAPORE - Monorail giant eyes New Town project
5 MoUs Signed With Singapore Firms
It was a fruitful day for chief minister Mamata Banerjee in Singapore as five MoUs were signed in her target sectors -food processing, IT, entertainment, training and home furnishing.
One of the big gains of Wednesday was that Scomi Engineering -the monorail operator in Sao Paulo, Kuala Lumpur and Mumbai -announced its intention to have a footprint in the City of Joy, particularly when the government wants such a project in Rajarhat New Town.
The global monorail operator has already submitted an expression of interest to commerce and industries minister Amit Mitra, said company CEO K Veluppillai, adding that they are keen to develop the New Town project if the Bengal government gives it to them. The company isn't averse to participating in a global tender for monorail."Whatever way the government wants, we will participate," he said.
Former chief minister Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee had conceived the monorail project in 2004. A global tender was floated and top companies like Siemens, TGV and L&T responded but the plan had to be scrapped because of land problems. The Scomi CEO who participated in the investors' summit in Singapore pegged the Kolkata monorail project cost at Rs 2,000Rs 2,500 crore. "The total investment in the Mumbai monorail was Rs 2,500 crore. This project could have a similar cost,“ said Veluppillai. Scomi has a joint venture with L&T for the Mumbai monorail. The CEO indicated that it might have a local partner for the Kolkata one as well.
In more good news, Keventer Agro Ltd and InfraCo Asia, Singapore, signed an MoU for the Food Park at Dankuni. The total investment will be Rs 1,000 crore with an FDI component of Rs 300 crore.INFRACO is an infrastructure development com pany headquartered in Singapore and seeks to create viable infrastructure investment opportunities in low-income developing countries of South and South East Asia.
INFRACO directly contributes development capital and arranges project debt and equity capital from third parties, as well as other INFRACO affiliate programmes, Keventer MD Mayank Jalan said.
The Sarda Group signed an MoU with IT firm Axsys Technologies Ltd. and Compass Energy Pte Ltd., Singapore, for collaboration on solutions in ship building and oil and gas exploration. "The Axsys-Compass combine is expected to generate combine is expected to generate additional employment of about 200 persons in the Sector-V area immediately and another additional 500-600 persons over the next two years," Ghanshyam Sarda, the chairman of Sarda Group said.
Obeetee, a Luxmi Group subsidiary that recently acquired Mokaibari Tea signed an MoU with Williams Sonoma Inc. to identify and promote textiles and crafts with a goal of achieving revenue of $10m per year.
The initiative involves manufacturing of home furnishings products in Bengal and retailing them internationally through Williams Sonoma stores (pottery, Barn, West Elm, etc). "West Bengal has a unique heritage in textiles and home furnishing and William Sonoma and Obeetee designers and management can partner and ensure that these products are made highly acclaimed globally," Obetee MD Rudra Chatterjee said.
Mamata also wanted an agreement between Ravi Auto group and Sanderson Group for an amusement park at an estimated investment of Rs 125 crore. It will create direct and indirect employment for about 800 people. Some of their well known projects include Warner Bros. Movie World (Australia), Sea World (Australia), Universal Studio (Sentosa Island, Singapore), Disney Sea (Tokyo) and Kingdom of Dreams in Gurgaon.
The last MOU was signed between Bengal Aerotropolis and Changi Airports International to explore the opportunity for setting up an aviation training academy in the state.
Mamata recites Tagore Singapore:
Chief minister Mamata Banerjee wowed members of the Bengali Association of Singapore, whom she met for dinner on Wednesday, with impromptu recitations of three Tagore poems. After the elocution charmed her hosts, Tollywood star Dev, who is a part of her entourage, joined in for a song. But the audience was not satisfied with just that. They demanded that the film star-turned-MP show off some of his dance moves. Dev readily agreed, and shook a leg to the evergreen number 'Dhitang Dhitang Bole', which a member of the association sang. The chief minister even gave away the mobile phone number of Goutam Sanyal, a senior member of the her secretariat. "Do not hesitate to call this number if you need any help," she assured the expats. When Dev also spoke about extending his help to any member, should they need it, there was a loud clamour for his mobile number as well. But the star declined with folded hands. "I don't think I can give away my phone number. That is why she is Didi and I am Dev," he said to loud applause.