Chennai, Jan 25 : Many Japanese companies in Tamil Nadu have decided to increase their investments in the state and the government would be signing memoranda of understanding with them, an official said here Wednesday.

“The Tamil Nadu government will sign MoUs with many Japanese companies as they want to make substantial investments. There are 286 Japanese companies in the state,” said N. Sundaradevan, principal secretary of the industries department.

He was speaking at a seminar, 'Tamil Nadu State - Building Bridges for Business', organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Japanese External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Japan-India Business Cooperation Committee (JIBCC) and the Japanese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (JCCIC).

A Japanese business delegation of around 70 small and medium enterprises (SME) is here to explore investment opportunities in Tamil Nadu.

Sundaradevan said the Japanese companies expect India to be their third largest trading partner after the US and China in the next three years, owing to its abundant skilled manpower and macro-economic strength.

“They consider Tamil Nadu as a state for highest potential for investment," he said.

The Japanese companies have also been interested in the infrastructure sector and in setting up industrial townships. Around Rs.15,000 crore investment was expected in the first such township being set up near Mahabalipuram.

"Since the Japanese considered Ennore Port as a gateway port, another industrial township could be set up there," he said.

Sundaradevan invited Japanese investment in the proposed Petroleum Chemicals and Petrochemical Investment Region in the Cuddalore-Nagapattinam belt.

CII Southern Region chairman T. T. Ashok said there was a lot of synergy between the SMEs in Tamil Nadu and Japan. Most of the companies that have invested in Tamil Nadu are in the auto sector.

He asked them to look into sectors like textiles, food processing, information technology, among others.

"Other areas of co-operation with Japanese were in the field of higher education, skill development, infrastructure, ports and new and renewable energy," Ashok said.

Masanori Nakano, consul general of the Consulate General of Japan, said the delegation comprise of large number of SMEs from Japan. He said the interaction between the Tamil Nadu and Japanese SMEs would crystallize into concrete businesses very soon.

According to Tetsusaburo, Hayashi, executive vice-president, JETRO, the Japanese companies were interested in Tamil Nadu because of its competitive advantages like ports with connectivity to South East Asia, West Asia, Europe and Africa, skilled manpower and investor-friendly state government and industries.


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