Thursday, December 1, 2011

india Drive Time in Tamil Nadu

The state of Tamil Nadu aims to attract Japanese manufacturers with made-to-order industrial enclaves outfitted with golf courses.

One of these enclaves, to be known as Omega, is expected to take shape on 1,450 acres in Mahabalipuram, a town roughly 40 miles south of Chennai. The developers, a group led by Singapore-based Ascendas Group, believe that 60 percent of Omega’s factory space will be leased or purchased by Japanese companies, including auto and auto component manufacturers.

In addition to an industrial zone, Omega will consist of houses, office space, a school, a hospital, and an 18-hole golf course. The developers say that Omega’s 400-acre first phase could be completed in five years or less, the entire project in about 10 years.

Ascendas, one of Asia’s premier commercial developers, operates in more than 30 cities in 10 countries. It’s probably best-known for developing business and industrial parks in Singapore (Singapore Science Park), India (International Tech Park in Bangalore), China (Dalian Ascendas IT Park in Dalian), and the Philippines (Carmelray Industrial Park II in Laguna).

The company is developing Omega with Mizuho Bank and JGC Corporation, a publicly traded engineering services company based in Yokohama, Japan.

Tamil Nadu has become a go-to destination for Japanese companies looking to set up shop in India. Since 2006, the number of Japanese companies operating in the state has grown from 65 to 245, and the number is expected to crack 300 by the end of 2011. Roughly 30 percent of the Japanese firms currently operating in India are located in the port city of Chennai, which they view as a gateway to markets in Europe and Africa, not to mention others in Asia.

Some of the information in this post originally appeared in the September 2011 issue of the World Edition of the Golf Course Report.