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Tamil Nadu eyes Rs 2.4 trn investments from second Global Investment Meet

Adani, GMR, Hyundai, Saint Gobain among companies to sign MoUs; state has already cleared proposals worth Rs 65,000 cr, which are likely to be signed at GIM 2019

T E Narasimhan  |  Chennai 

Edappadi, Palaniswami, Tamil Nadu
Edappadi K Palaniswami, Chief Minister of Tamil Ndu

The stage is set for Tamil Nadu's second Global Investors Meet (GIM), which starts in Chennai on January 23. The state hopes that at the end of the two-day meet, it will come away with about 140 MoUs worth over Rs 2.4 trillion -- the amount it claims was committed during the maiden summit in 2015. MoUs in the pipeline include those with Adani Port, Hyundai, GMR, Saint Gobain and Indian Oil Corporation's subsidiary, among others.

During the past one month, the Tamil Nadu cabinet cleared investment proposals worth Rs 65,000 crore, which are expected to be signed at GIM 2019.

The proposals include a Rs 27,450 crore project by (IOC) arm, (CPCL) and Hyundai's Rs 7,000 crore investment plan.

Sources in the know said Karan Adani, CEO of Adani Ports and SEZs, is likely to participate in the meet and his company may sign a MoU involving Kattupalli Port.

The company had filed a revised master plan with the Ministry of Environment, Forests and Climate Change. As per the plan the company is looking at expanding total cargo handling capacity at Kattupalli (North of Chennai) to 320 million tonnes (MT) from the existing 24.65 MT. Total capital cost of the proposed development under the revised master plan is estimated at over Rs 52,400 crore and will generate direct and indirect employment for around 6,000.

BVN Rao, Chairman of Transportation and Urban Infra, GMR Group, will be one of the important faces in the meet. His company plans to set up an aerospace and defence manufacturing hub in the special investment region at Hosur, on the Tamil Nadu-Karnataka border.

The project, a joint venture between GMR Group and the Tamil Nadu Industrial Development Corporation (TIDCO), will be spread over 600 acres of industrial land.

Senior officials from Thailand-based Delta Electronics are also likely to participate in the event. During the 2015 meet, this company signed a Rs 4,000 crore MoU for an electronics hardware unit at Krishnagiri.

Captains of industry from the State and other Southern domains, and CEOs of international firms that are operating in Tamil Nadu will be present as well.

While it isn't immediately clear whether homegrown groups like TVS and Murugappa will commit anything, Ashok Leyland may sign an MoU for its future investment in the state.

Industrial units from Tirupur and Coimbatore the textile and engineering industries are expected to commit around Rs 10,000 crore during the meet.

Tamil Nadu has partnered with Australia, France, Japan, Korea, Singapore and United Kingdom for GIM 2019.

Officials said the first GIM in September 2015 drew investments worth Rs 2.40 trillion with more than 5,000 delegates attending. This time, they are confident investments made in this round will surpass those in the first GIM. Around 6,500 delegates are expected to participate in the event.

GIM 2019 would be more broad-based than the previous edition, state officials said, adding that apart from engineering and manufacturing, sectors such as information technology, ITeS, tourism and energy would be represented in the summit. In addition to attracting foreign or international investors, steps had been taken to woo domestic and local investors as well.

Meanwhile, ahead of the meet, the State announced a new Start-up policy that aims to create around 5,000 Start-ups, including 10 global high growth enterprises, and a minimum of 100,000 highly skilled jobs, direct and indirect, in the start-up ecosystem by 2023.

The Meet will be held at a time the State has been losing investments to other domains, especially the neighbouring state of Andhra Pradesh. Some of the major investments that have gone to Andhra Pradesh include Kia Motor and Hero.

Government officials said while Andhra Pradesh attracts investors by giving land and power almost free and offers a host of other incentives, that hasn't changed Tamil Nadu's investment standing. However industry representatives differ and point to political instability and recent unrest in factories, such as the ones in Yamaha, Royal Enfield and Sterlite, which have sent a wrong signal to investors.

Tamil Nadu is India’s second largest state economy, contributing 8.4 per cent to National GDP. It tops industrial performance and houses the largest number of factories in the country. At present, 62 Fortune-500 companies are operating in the state.

The State produces the highest number of skilled workers and has a manpower base that is both productive and docile. Its infrastructure is enviable with four large and 22 minor ports, four international airports and a strong road network. Successive governments have been stable and industry-friendly. Most importantly, the law and order situation has been amongst the most benign in the country.

2015 GIM update

State Industry Minister M C Sampath said 98 MoUs were signed during the 2015 Global Investors Meet, with investment commitments exceeding Rs 2.42 trillion, and that 68 firms had initiated projects that were at various stages of implementation.

These 68 firms accounted for investments worth Rs 62,738 crore, and would generate around 110,000 direct jobs and many more indirect jobs, Sampath said.

He added that the state is constantly monitoring and following up with the companies that have been postponing or holding back due to the general slowdown, and has promised to deal with any obstacles thay may face immediately.

While the conversion rate for MoUs in other States that had held similar investor meetings was only 5-15 per cent, Sampath claimed that in Tamil Nadu, just three years on, 25 per cent of the companies were in the process of starting operations.

First Published: Mon, January 21 2019. 18:59 IST