Japanese engineering services company JGC Corporation, Mizuho Bank and Ascendas, a business space developer, have teamed up to develop a township near Mahabalipuram spread over 1,450 acres targeted at Japanese companies. The Omega project will comprise of an industrial zone, residential units, a golf course, hospital and school.
“We have acquired around 70% of the land,” said Arimichi Saikawa, a manager of JGC Corporation. He, however, refused to divulge the project cost. Omega is expected to be completed within the next 10 years with the first phase being completed in five years.
“We are doing a feasibility study at the moment and have visited similar integrated business cities like Sri City,” Saikawa said. The project envisages commercial spaces for offices as well as industrial areas for manufacturers. Nearly 60% of the space is expected to be occupied by Japanese concerns. “But that is subject to allocation by the Tamil Nadu government,” Saikawa said.
Japan is also keen to participate in the Chennai-Bangalore industrial corridor. Last year, governments of Tamil Nadu and Karnataka were evaluating possibilities of reducing distance between the two cities to about 250km from the present 350km with plans to promote this route as an industrial hub.
“We will be initiating talks with the new government in Tamil Nadu,” said Yuki Takishima, principal deputy director, financial cooperation division, METI (ministry of economy, trade and industry), Japan.
He says a lot of Japanese auto and auto component majors are keen to set up shop in India. “These are mostly SME units based out of Yokohama. Many of them are operating in China, Thailand and Malaysia and they are now keen to expand their presence in India.”
Also, of the total Japanese business base in India, 31% is in south India. This region also accounts for over 50% of India’s automobile exports and hence the Japanese are stressing on better infrastructure linkages for the regional production network spanning India and its East Asian neighbours.