Wednesday, 27 July 2011

Tamil Nadu committed to attract more investment from Japan

The Government of Tamil Nadu considers Japan as a very important partner. There is enormous potential for co-operation between Tamil Nadu and Japan", said Dr N Sundaradevan, IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu.

Dr Sundaradevan was addressing a seminar on ‘Business opportunities for co-operation between Tamil Nadu and Japan in the infrastructure sector,’ organized by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), here on Tuesday. He said the State government would extend its full support to attract more Japanese foreign direct investment (FDI) both in manufacturing and infrastructure.  Japan has identified Tamil Nadu as one of the most potential States for its investments and for this the Japanese  Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry (METI) has signed a bilateral economic co-operation agreement with Tamil Nadu, he said.

JETRO has signed an economic co-operation MoU with the State Guidance Bureau. The Prefecture (State government) of Hiroshima, and Mizhuho Bank have also signed agreements with the Guidance Bureau. Other Prefectures like Kanagawa and Aichi` are also planning similar agreements.

Dr Sundaradevan said 240 of the 725 Japanese companies were in Tamil Nadu and many more investors “are looking at Tamil Nadu as an attractive investment destination’’.  He said the Joint Steering Committee of METI and the State government has identified several infrastructure projects .

They include, new industrial parks, Japanese Industrial townships, logistics park near Ennore and Sriperambudur, solar power parks, promotion of a fuel corridor, including power projects and offshore coal and LNG handling, investment in the proposed petroleum  and petrochemical investment region between Cuddalore and Nagapattinam, development of the minor ports and waste water treatment. The Tamil Nadu government has plans for establishing a Japanese industrial cluster near Chennai. He invited the Japanese companies to participate in this initiative.

Mr M Velmurugan, Executive Vice Chairman, Guidance Bureau, Industries Department, Government of Tamil Nadu, presented the investment opportunities in infrastructure sector in the State. He said opportunities were abundant in areas of power, including renewable energy, roads and minor ports development, water augmentation and waste water treatment, logistics and industrial parks. Detailed presentations on each of these sectors were made by senior officials of the concerned departments.

Mr  P S Rajamani, Co-chairman, International Networking Forum, CII, Southern Region and Whole-time Director Simpson & Co., said there were tremendous investment opportunities for the Japanese companies in Tamil Nadu in areas like infrastructure, manufacturing and services. “Japan’s technology and investment in infrastructure sector can help bridge the supply gap in India’s infrastructure sector. He said Japan’s IT hardware can complement India’s strength  in software, while  India’s edge in pharmaceutical, biotechnology and auto components industry can complement Japanese proficiency in heavy engineering , automobiles, machinery and chemical industry.

India can benefit from the export of agricultural products since Japan was a huge importer of food. “Japanese investment and technology could also play an important role in promoting SME clusters in the country’’, Mr Rajamani said. There were also huge opportunities both for Indian and Japanese companies for co-operation in various segments of services sector including financial, tourism, healthcare and IT, he added.

Mr  Masaki Takahara, Director, Manufacturing and Environment Industry Planning Division, Manufacturing  and Environment industry Department, JETRO, Tokyo, said, that the export of infrastructure with advanced cutting edge technology and knowhow was a major business now. “The focus is not just on sales of equipment but on the entire system’’, he said.

Mr Shinya Fuji, Director General, JETRO Chennai, said more than 40% of the profits of the Japanese companies were from the South, especially Tamil Nadu. Now there were 240 Japanese companies in Tamil Nadu and the number was set to increase. Tamil Nadu has been attracting large global investments and the state has very fast industrial growth and urbanization.

Mr Masanori Nakano, Consul-General, Consulate General of Japan, Chennai, said  that Tamil Nadu was one of the leading economies of India. The state had the locational advantage of being close to the South East Asian countries and it acted also as a gateway to the West Asia, Africa and Europe. Availability of highly skilled manpower and investment-friendly policies were the other advantages. With these the State had huge potential to attract more FDI.


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