CHENNAI: Tamil Nadu is slowly becoming an industrial hub for Japan with companies from the Asian country growing four-fold in the state during the last five years and plans are underway to set up an industrial township in Mahabalipuram.
The Omega project is to come up in 1,450 acres of land in Mahabalipuram, which is jointly promoted by Ascendas and Japanese investors. “Currently, 70 per cent of the land is acquired and we will be finalising the agreement soon,” said a Japanese official.
The overall project will take about 10 years, while the first phase, which will come up on 400 acres, will be ready within four to five years, he said.
Industries Secretary N Sundaradevan said that the firms have multiplied four times in the state from a mere 65 companies in 2006-07 to 245 companies and the state is expecting to reach the 300 mark this year.
The interest in wooing Japanese investments in the state could be seen as top government officials from power, Metro Water, non-renewable energy and ports provided insights into where the investments are possible in the infrastructure sector between the two countries at a seminar.
Japan’s interest in Chennai could be seen by the fact that the city is home to 30 per cent of Japanese firms operating in India. “We see the state as being close to the South East Asian countries and as a gateway to the West Asia, Africa and Europe. Availability of highly skilled manpower and investment-friendly policies were the other advantages,” said Masanori Nakano, Consul-General, Consulate General of Japan, Chennai.
And what is more, Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) has signed an economic co-operation 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, said Sundaradevan.