As stated in recent reports, Singapore’s Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong points out to India as a country not open for business, referring to land acquisition, over-regulation and legal hassles as one of the biggest bottlenecks. He has reportedly added that India's plan of action must be that they want to encourage interdependence and more openness and more trade-based economy for trade to grow. He has been quoted saying that India was prepared to open up the economy, loosen government control, enable investments and free up the ‘animal spirits’ or entrepreneurship. Companies from India such as Tata, Infosys, and Mahindra have gone all over the world; so this country should also allow other countries to operate here.
India and Singapore have stepped up contacts as a part of the Modi Government’s “Look East Act East” policy. Bilateral trade between both countries has declined Y-o-Y, with Indian exports dropping 21.2 per cent between 2014-15 and 2105-16.
In case of the Amaravati Project, Singapore has done the master plan and is bidding for the master developer contract. Here, Lee hopes that the country bags the contract in order to show what it can do it. This is in view of a local builder having challenged the appointment of Singapore-based Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development. As per sources, a similar plan was laid to build an industrial park in Gujarat, but was abandoned some months ago over land acquisition issues.
While Lee has reportedly agreed that there has been a change in bureaucracy in terms of ‘will’ and ‘direction’ in the past few years, his words are significant as the city-state is the biggest origin of FDI into India.