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Thursday, September 30, 2010

3 local firms in talks to invest in India's Sri City

Three Malaysian companies are expected to establish an investment presence in one of India's top special economic zones (SEZs) by the end of the year.

Integrated SEZ developer Sri City (Pte) Ltd vice-president C. Saravanan on Tuesday said the companies, which are engaged in industrial engineering, are likely to plough in an estimated US$25 million (RM77 million) into India's first integrated business city known as Sri City, located 55km away from Chennai in South India.

"The Malaysian companies are among several foreign firms we are in advanced negotiations with and we hope to sign a deal with them by the end of the year," Saravanan told reporters in Penang.

He, however, did not disclose the name of the Malaysian companies, except to say that the firms were mulling setting up a presence in South India for manufacturing and distribution purposes.

Saravanan and Sri City Pte's deputy general manager for marketing M. Ganesh were in Penang as part of a six-day official visit to Malaysia to meet top investors who are keen on investing in India.

They are also due to meet government and investment promotion officials in Perak and Kuala Lumpur this week.

Apart from meeting potential investors, Saravanan said the company is also looking for joint-venture opportunities with local consultants and companies.

"There is an estimated US$30 million to US$40 million (RM93 million to RM124 million) worth of joint-venture projects for Malaysian companies in Sri City for the development of social infrastructure like residential enclaves, education zones, leisure and entertainment zones."

He singled out the development of golf courses within Sri City as a project which could potentially attract Malaysian companies.

"As developers of this economic zone, our equity would be to provide land for these proposed projects," Saravanan added, saying that his company has ear-marked US$250 million (RM770 million) in setting up Sri City and a total of US$150 million (RM462 million) has been spent, to date, on infrastructure support.

Sri City, which was set up in 2008 and covers more than 2,400ha of land, was master-planned and designed by Singapore-based Jurong Consultants Pte Ltd.

The zone has attracted 35 multinational companies with total investments of US$150 million. Eleven of these investors have already begun operating in Sri City.

"We are hoping to lure another 15 more companies to the SEZ by the frist quarter of 2011," he added.

Located on the border of Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu, Sri City offers smooth connectivity to three sea-ports, two international airports, a national highway and railway services.

"We have earmarked some 300ha of land for open spaces and our plans are to develop Sri City as a green city, as we aspire to be the world's first carbon-neutral city," Saravanan said.

By Business Times

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