Singapore, Amaravati commence development of Welcome Gallery

DN Bureau

Development of the proposed Welcome Gallery in Amaravati has begun, thus strengthening the first phase of collaboration between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh.

Visuals from the Welcome Gallery commencement ceremony in Amaravati (Source: Andhra CM twitter)
Visuals from the Welcome Gallery commencement ceremony in Amaravati (Source: Andhra CM twitter)

Singapore: Development of the proposed Welcome Gallery in Amaravati has begun, thus strengthening the first phase of collaboration between Singapore and Andhra Pradesh.

Last week, Singapore's Minister for Communications and Information and Minister-in-charge of Trade Relations, S Iswaran had visited Amaravati to attend the commencement ceremony of the exhibition-cum-community centre with Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu.

The Welcome Gallery, situated within the Amaravati capital city start-up area, has been designed for community use. Spread across 2.6 hectares of land area, the gallery will have a built-up area of 4,080 sqm and can accommodate 2,000 to 3,000 visitors daily.

The gallery, which is being constructed with an investment of Rs. 44 crore, will consist of a city gallery, exhibition zone, community zone, and engagement zone, as well as co-working spaces to house start-ups.

Besides serving as a one-stop information centre for all visitors, it will also be a focal point for companies to showcase their sustainable urban solutions concepts, as well as function as a business promotion platform, through the hosting of various national and international level events and exhibitions.

The project is being developed by Amaravati Development Partners (ADP) Pvt Ltd, which is a joint venture between Singapore Amaravati Investment Holdings (SAIH) and Amaravati Development Corporation. SAIH, in turn, is a wholly-owned joint venture company comprising Ascendas-Singbridge Andhra Investment Holdings and Sembcorp Development India.

The Ascendas-Singbridge Group, which undertakes projects to develop townships, mixed-used developments, business and industrial parks, hotels, offices and warehouses, is jointly owned by Singapore government investment arm Temasek Holdings and JTC Corporation, a Singapore statutory board.

Temasek Holdings is the controlling shareholder of Sembcorp with nearly 50 per cent stake. Sembcorp is a multi-industry conglomerate with interests in property and land development, marine and energy sectors.

The Welcome Gallery forms part of the larger Catalytic Development Area and will play an integral role in generating activities in the area, which will spread across the entire Start-Up Area over time.

The 20-hectare Catalytic Development Area is developed as part of the Phase 1 development of the Start-Up Area, and will comprise 75,000 sq m of office, residential and retail spaces. The Start-Up Area has a total development land area of 6.84 sq km, which will be developed in three phases over the next 20 years.

Dr. Sreedhar Cherukuri, Commissioner of Andhra Pradesh Capital Region Development Authority (APCRDA), said: "The capital city of Amaravati is significant in representing the close ties and strong partnership between the governments of Andhra Pradesh and Singapore. Development of the Welcome Gallery represents a key milestone towards the smooth completion of the Catalytic Development Area. We will continue to strive towards developing Amaravati as a smart, sustainable and efficient city by working with the master developers to promote investments and boost economic activities in the city."

Chief Minister Naidu, on the other hand, described it as the beginning of efforts to turn the plans for Seed Area development to reality. He said there are on-going activities that will develop Amaravati to become one of the top 5 capital cities in the world with the help of Singapore. He further added that trunk infrastructure was being developed at a cost of Rs 40,000 crore (USD 5.6 billion).

Alongside the Welcome Gallery commencement ceremony is the launch by Singapore of a programme known as "Sunrise" which is spearheaded by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF). This

programme aims to encourage more Singapore companies to explore business opportunities in the state of Andhra Pradesh.

The Sunrise programme is part of a broader partnership between the Singapore government and the state government of Andhra Pradesh to build the new capital city of Amaravati.

Andhra Pradesh is building the city from scratch across agriculture land in the Guntur Vijayawada region because it lost its capital city Hyderabad to the new state of Telangana.

Singapore has been involved in the project since 2014 with the consortium of Ascendas-Singbridge and Sembcorp Development announced as the master developers in 2017.

Singapore has been exporting its expertise in developing townships, commercial zones and industrial parks since the 1990s with mixed success having developed projects in China, Vietnam, Indonesia and Bengaluru (India), amongst others. It brings to the table its experience and expertise in building quality infrastructure, its world-class administration and management capabilities and ability to simplify bureaucratic obstacles so that companies can commence operations seamlessly. Partner cities and countries also benefit from its ability to attract investments due to the "Singapore brand" as well as its understanding of the needs of global multinational corporations.(ANI)

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