'The number of Japanese establishments operating in the State is likely to touch 400 soon'

Tamil Nadu has become a hotspot for Japanese investors and the number of Japanese business establishments in the State is likely to increase shortly, Japanese Consul General Masanori Nakano said in Chennai on Thursday.

As of October 2012, over 1,800 Japanese establishments are operating in India, of which 344 are in Tamil Nadu, followed by 228 in Karnataka, 88 in Andhra Pradesh, 53 in Kerala and four in Puducherry. There are 1,000 expats in Karnataka and 800 in Tamil Nadu.

“The number of establishments operating in the State is likely to touch 400 soon. The latest data will be released within the next two weeks. The Japanese firms are also looking at other States which are offering good environment for investment.”

Japanese majors have invested in Tamil Nadu, particularly in and around Chennai, Oragadam and Sriperumbudur due to factors such as investor-friendly environment, availability of skilled manpower, presence of major ports, stable government and closer proximity to South East Asian countries.

According to Mr. Nakano, major Japanese firms have already established their units in India. Next in the line would be the entry of small and medium size firms. Some of them were waiting for the commissioning of Ascendas integrated township near Chennai. The formation of Chennai-Bangalore Industrial Corridor was also keenly watched by the Japanese investors.

Mr. Nakano said that while scouting for good investment destination, the Japanese firms have been seeking better roads, water, and electricity facilities in all these states. “We cannot say there are no issues. These issues are getting sorted out with the help of local governments. The Ennore-Manali Road has improved. The arrival of NYK Lines to L&T Kattupalli Port shows that Japanese are investing in Tamil Nadu and Southern parts of the State after exploring the opportunities,” he added.

“India has good potential for investment and this could be turned into a reality by solving the issues. Manufacturing is going to be the backbone for the growth of India’s economy. Currently, 60 per cent of our portfolio in Tamil Nadu consists of manufacturing firms. Japanese firms are willing to contribute to India’s growth story,” he said.

The Japan Government has been participating in the major infrastructure development by providing Overseas Development Assistance (ODA) loans. The major beneficiaries are Tamil Nadu Investment Promotion Programme, Hogenakkal Drinking Water Project, Chennai Metro Rail and Tamil Nadu Transmission System Improvement Project.

As part of scouting for suitable destinations in south India, a host of Japanese firms will take part in the Confederation of Indian Industry 20th Partnership Summit to be held in Bangalore for three days from January 27.