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SoftBank commits $20 b for solar project in India

Japanese firm to team up with Bharti, Foxconn

SoftBank commits $20 b for solar project in India

Japan’s SoftBank Corp will invest $20 billion towards setting up a solar power project in India, and partner with telecom major Bharti Enterprises and Taiwan’s Foxconn in the project.

“The proposal aims at adding 20 gigawatts of solar generating capacity,” SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son told reporters in New Delhi on Monday.

Bharti Enterprises Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said that SoftBank will control the venture, with Bharti and Foxconn having minority stakes.

The $20 billion will be invested in India in the next 10 years, Son said as he hoped to get cooperation from the Centre and state governments in the venture for easy fund flow.
Son said that SoftBank can bring its experience of the solar industry to India. He added that SoftBank has invested $1 billion in India in the past nine months. Japan is the second largest market after China for solar cells.

The commitment for enhanced investment came soon after Son and Mittal had met Prime Minister Narendra Modi and evinced interest in investing in India under the ‘Make in India’ initiave.

The trio are looking at Rajasthan and Andhra Pradesh to start their solar power project. According to Mittal, the first project will start by the end of 2016.

The commitment from Japan’s SoftBank comes close on the heels of US technology giant Cisco pledging $2 billion investment in India this year in manufacturing on Indian soil.

Prior to that Taiwan’s Qyuanta Computer, the world’s top contract personal computer manufacturer had said it was considering setting up a manufacturing base in India. At present, all of its manufacturing facilities are in China.

Under the Make in India initiative, the Modi government aims at promoting the country as a manufacturing hub thereby increasing the contribution of the sector to India’s GDP from the current 16 per cent to 25 per cent in the near future.

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