AP woos Japanese companies to build smart communities
Sai Nikesh | The Dollar Business The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) on Thursday organised a day-long Indo-Japan seminar on ‘Expanding Technology Cooperation for Smart Community in Andhra Pradesh’. The event was attended by more than 30 Japanese delegates and 100 participants from Japanese energy companies. The participants discussed various aspects on building cooperation between the Government of Japan and the Government of Andhra Pradesh to develop infrastructure in the newly formed State. The Japanese delegation and the Andhra Pradesh government announced to take steps to ensure better mutual cooperation in areas of building smart infrastructure and smart community, aimed at developing world class infrastructure for the State. Giving details of Japanese investment interest in the State, Ken Sasaji, Executive Director, Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry, told The Dollar Business, “Besides other Indian States, Andhra Pradesh is exceptional for making investments and its fast bureaucratic procedures, easy land-related clearances for setting up industries and a better energy infrastructure scope, make it a better place for investments.” In this regard, the Japanese government wishes a strong industrial cooperation with the State Government, the Japanese official added. He also expressed hope that the Japanese companies in coordination with the State government and its companies will deliver a well-developed smart capital for the State. On Indo-Japan overall trade cooperation, the Japanese official said the Japanese government is ready to work with India under ‘Make in India’ policy and also sought an incentivized tax structure, along with a better business environment in India to facilitate Japanese investment. The Japanese minister also called for a transparent defence framework to ensure stronger defence cooperation between India and Japan. Japan is looking at doubling its FDI in coming five years, he added. The Japanese Minister also expressed happiness over the outcome of the seminar and exuded confidence saying, ‘this first-ever seminar on smart community between Japan and Andhra Pradesh would definitely provide a better scope for both the governments in achieving a stronger cooperation in key sectors like infrastructure, manufacturing, agriculture and food processing. Meanwhile, PricewaterhouseCooper Director (PPP and Infrastructure Centre, Japan) Sanjeev Sinha told The Dollar Business, “Food, land and water are the three entities that are enabling a better and positive connection between the Japanese and the Andhra Pradesh governments.” The official further said that there is a need for the State to concentrate on its abundant rare earths, as it would help the state’s electronic sector in times of collaboration with Japan for electronic product manufacturing. Speaking at the event, the Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu explained the delegation, the scope for larger development in the state and called the Japanese delegation to make investments in the region. Pointing to India’s GDP projection in terms of public-private-partnership at about 86 trillion by 2050, Naidu exuded confidence that the State would become the logistics hub and gateway for South-East Asia by then. To facilitate the ease of doing business, Naidu said the State government would ensure single desk clearances within 21 days for majority of the Japanese project proposals and also made an announcement of providing 10 lakh acres of land and 24/7 support to the industries. Infrastructure projects which include tourism sector, mobility development, affordable housing, are among many key areas that require investments as a part of smart city master plan, the Chief Minister added. He also called for investments in other key projects under Solar and Wind policy, PPP policy, Port policy and Maritime board port, Inland waterways, among others. Addressing the participants, Hiroshi Kuniyoshi, Executive Director, New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), Government of Japan, said that a ‘MoU for Energy Cooperation’ has been signed between the Japanese and Andhra Pradesh governments during the Chief Minister’s visit to Japan in November 2014. Stating that this seminar provided a better interactive platform for private and public sector companies of Japanese and AP governments, the NEDO official expressed hope that this seminar will provide a much better opportunity for both the governments in enhancing energy cooperation. On this occasion, Akio Isomata, Minister, Embassy of Japan in India, said, “Japanese companies have already started working on master plan for the new State capital.”
This article was published on March 05, 2015.