The Tamil Nadu government is looking at signing a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Kanagawa Prefecture of Japan to increase economic cooperation between the two regions, said N Sundaradevan, principal secretary with the state industries department.
Speaking at a seminar organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), along with Tamil Nadu Industrial Guidance and Export Promotion Bureau and the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), he said that the state had already signed an MoU with JETRO, Mizuho Corporate Bank and Hiroshima Prefecture for economic co-operation.
“We hope to conclude a similar MoU with Kanagawa Prefecture,” Sundaradevan said, adding that the economic cooperation between Tamil Nadu and Kanagawa Prefecture could be into areas including plastics, machine tools, industrial machinery, electronics and products and environment-related technologies.
Takashi Kobayashi, executive director, industry department, commerce, industry Nd labour bureau, Kanagawa Prefectural government, said that an MoU on promotional exchanges would be signed between the two regions in future.
Almost 30 per cent of the total Japanese companies operational in India is in Tamil Nadu and the state is home to around 700 Japanese expatriates, Sundaradevan said.
Almost 60 per cent of the FDI in Tamil Nadu in automobile industry is from Japanese companies, which include Nissan Motors that has its headquarters in Kanagawa Prefecture.
The state government is also addressing the infrastructure issues raised by the Japanese companies, including strengthening of bridges on the way to Ennore Port near Chennai. Companies like Toshiba and Nissan are facing difficulty in transitioning of heavy equipment to Ennore Port. The state government has allocated Rs 84 crore to strengthen the road as part of supporting the industry, he said.
Yuji Kuroiwa, governor, Kanagawa Prefecture, said that the region also looks at investment and collaboration with Indian companies. The regions could work together on fields including water technology and life sciences among other sectors, he added.
At present, there are around 286 Japanese companies in India, which is a four-fold increase from 77 companies in 2008, said Shinya Fuji, director general, JETRO Chennai.