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TN inks Rs 52,800 cr investment deals in New York

New York, Sep 4 : Tamil Nadu has signed investment deals worth Rs 52,800 crore during an Investors Meet here with Chief Minister K. Palaniswami.

Memorandums of Understanding for 11 projects and for four investment promotion cooperation were signed on Tuesday with an assurance from Palaniswami that "the state will always stand by you and provide you with the best possible investment experience."

The areas of investment ranged from petrochemicals and pharmaceuticals to software development and automation.

Palaniswami said that the state had 8,000 acres ready for building facilities and it had a record of being investor-friendly.

He pitched Tamil Nadu as a destination for defence and aerospace industries, with the central government planning a corridor in the state for this sector.

The state's Industries Principal Secretary N. Muruganandam said that Tamil Nadu has announced an aerospace and defence industrial policy which gives special incentives to enterprises in the sector with subsidies for capital, land and skills development.

Electronic vehicle manufacturing is another sunrise sector the state is targeting, he said.

As business relations grow between the US and India, particularly Tamil Nadu, this marks a historic anniversary, Frank Wisner, who is a former US ambassador to India, said.

This year is the 225th anniversary of the setting up of US diplomatic representation in Madras, as Chennai was known in 1794, by William Abbott, who became the consular agent, he said.

The US wanted to do business directly with India and not through the East India Company, which was resented by the British who refused to accord him diplomatic status, said Wisner, who is a board member of US-India Strategic Partnership Forum.

He said that he was "enormously proud" of the association that the US has developed with the state.

Representatives of two US multinationals, Ford and Caterpillar, offered testimonials at the meeting to Tamil Nadu's efficacy in working with investors.

Katie Hays, the head of government and corporate affairs for Caterpillar, said that the manufacturer of heavy construction machinery and trucks found increased ease of doing business under the chief minister.

She said that the company received strong support from the government and received uninterrupted supply of power and water.

Ford Motor Co. International Government Relations Manager James Rowland said that the state is "one of the best global partners."

He said that the state offered the company a vast pool of skilled manpower.

State Chief Secretary K. Shanmugam said that the state's investment in social welfare resulted in it becoming a hub of economic activity and of consumption, which backed economic activity.

The state was able to reap a social peace dividend by having the nation's best law and order situation, he said.

He said that the state planned to develop a Fintech city to draw companies integrating technology and financial services and it would be a draw for companies in the sector in the US.

He said that the state had several desalination plants and facilities to recover sewer water for industrial use -- and more were planned -- to deal with the water shortage.

He added that the state was also undertaking programmes to rejuvenate rivers and ground water.

Palaniswami, who is visiting the US with an entourage that includes Industries Development Minister M.C. Sampath, Revenue and Information Technology Minister R.B. Udhayakumar, and Milk and Dairy Development Minister K.T. Rajenthra Bhalaji, is to hold another investors meet in the Silicon Valley in San Jose on Wednesday.

(Arul Louis can be reached at arul.l@ians.in and followed on Twitter @arulouis)

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TN inks Rs 52,800 cr investment deals in New York


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