Palaniswami pitches for US investments in Tamil Nadu

Palaniswami addressed an investors meet on Tuesday hosted by the Consulate General of India in New York and the US India Strategic Partnership Forum. (PTI file photo used for representation)

As the US companies look to relocate their hubs from China to India, Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami highlighted his state's investment policies and initiatives to attract the American businesses to invest, innovate and create in the state in areas such as aerospace and defence.

Palaniswami addressed an investors meet on Tuesday hosted by the Consulate General of India in New York and the US India Strategic Partnership Forum and invited the US investments in a plethora of sectors such as aerospace, defence, automobile, IT and energy.

"Conducive business environment and various incentives like tax refunds, capital subsidies, highly skilled manpower, power supply, state of the art infrastructure facilities and reputation for efficiency has made Tamil Nadu investors' choice," Palaniswami said in his address to investors.

Referring to the Global Investors Meet in his state earlier this year, Palaniswami said Tamil Nadu attracted investment commitments of about 43 billion dollars through more than 300 MoUs, adding that "this has been possible only because of the favorable ecosystem in the state and continuous support from the government."

He stressed that Tamil Nadu has been taking various initiatives to further promote sectors like automobiles, e-vehicles, electronic hardware and software, food processing and medical devices.

He noted that the state government is also taking various initiatives to promote aerospace and defence manufacturing industries and more 8000 acres of land is available across the state at various industry parks.

He said that Tamil Nadu's late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa had a "vision for developing Tamil Nadu into the numero uno state in India.

"I assure you my state will always stand by you and provide you with the best possible investment experience," he said.

The visiting delegation from Tamil Nadu invited investors to "invest, innovate and create" in the state, assuring them of a very liberal incentive package such as GST refunds and single window clearance system.

India's Consul General in the city Sandeep Chakravorty stressed that current geo-political scenario and developments in global trade open up opportunities for India and states like Tamil Nadu.

"I am specifically referring to China. There is a lot of interest in companies in the US to relocate their manufacturing and businesses into India. The Government of India and Tamil Nadu is rolling out the red carpet to invite investors who are wanting to relocate, part of their business or their whole business into India," he said adding that in such a scenario, "Tamil Nadu is the state to look at."

Chakravorty said the invest meet provides an opportunity to discuss what hand-holding is required from the central government and the Tamil Nadu government to help investors.

During the visit, 15 MoUs were signed between the Tamil Nadu government and US firms, investors and trade promotion bodies in the area of financial services, IT solutions, pharma, chemicals, health, LNG, petro-chemicals, and cybersecurity. The MoUs are worth a total of Rs 52,800 crore and propose to employ approximately 22,760 people.

Principal Secretary, Industries Department, N Muruganandam told the investors meet that Tamil Nadu’s GDP is the second-largest in India and the state has been growing consistently at around 8 per cent. It is among the top three exporting states and over 60 of the Fortune 500 companies have set up base in Tamil Nadu.

The major sectors for investment are automobile and wind energy, IT and ITeS, electronic hardware, chemical and fertilizers, renewable energy, while aerospace and defence are the new emerging growth areas in the state. The Government of India had announced two defense industrial corridors and one of them is in Tamil Nadu.

"We have a Vision 2023 plan, under which about 57.4 billion dollars is being invested in urban infrastructure and we propose to expand the power capacity to around 55 GW by 2023," Muruganandam said, adding that water security is also among the focus areas for the state government.

During the meet, senior officials from Caterpillar and Ford shared their experiences of doing business in Tamil Nadu.

USISPF President and CEO Mukesh Aghi said that there is currently stress between the US and China, which was the manufacturing hub of the global industry. "But we have seen roughly 200 US companies asking us what do we have to do to come to India," he said.

Former US Ambassador to India Frank Wisner said that for India to attract additional investments, whether it is out of China or globally, the Central government has a major responsibility to produce laws that ensure easy employment of labour, land acquisition and reliability of tax systems.

The state governments have to provide a welcoming framework that includes help in finding land, facilitating clearances and providing educational and health infrastructure, Wisner said adding that all this will ensure that Tamil Nadu is the recipient of not just US investment but global investment as well, including from China and elsewhere.

Tamil Nadu's Chief Secretary K Shanmugam said the state has a long tradition of pro-active government policies that promote investments, including single-window facilitation.

"The state has lined up a large number of infrastructure projects in urban development, urban transportation," as well as a FINTECH city, which will benefit FINTECH companies in the US. 

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