Monday, 1 December 2014

Singapore to plan, Japan to build Andhra capital: Chandrababu Naidu...........

HYDERABAD: Japan is ready to join hands in building the new capital of Andhra Pradesh, the designing of which will be done by Singapore, chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu said on Monday. 

Terming his five-day visit to Japan a success, Naidu told reporters here that several Japanese companies and government organizations expressed their willingness to be partners in building the state capital. 

Naidu, who went to Singapore last month, said Singapore will prepare the master plan for the capital. He hopes to finalize this when Singapore's trade and commerce minister S Iswaran visits India this month. 

"The Japanese companies are ready to associate in construction, environment and other requirements of the city," he said. "It will be a deadly combination." 

The government plans to build the capital on 30,000 acres in Guntur-Vijayawada region in five years. It is estimated to cost Rs 1 lakh crore.

Andhra Pradesh chief minister N Chandrababu Naidu meets Japanese PM Shinzo Abe at his office in Tokyo during his Japan trip, on November 28, 2014. 

Naidu said he had fruitful discussions with Japanese government organizations, industry bodies and companies and exuded the hope that this will result in attracting investment to the state. 

Stating that Softbank Corp is keen to fund 10,000 MW solar power generation in India over next three years, Naidu said he invited the company to partner with Andhra Pradesh in its ongoing plan for the development of 2,500 MW solar power. 

The chief minister said Softbank chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son was interested in solar power generation in India and also in research to bring down the cost of generation. "The cost of solar power has come down from Rs 14 to around Rs 6 per unit and if we can further bring it down to Rs 4, then it will be a revolution meeting the energy requirements," he said. 

Naidu said Softbank plan to invest $10 billion in India. He also invited the company to invest in the IT sector in the state. The company is expected to come out with a project report in two months.

The Softbank chairman also confirmed that he will visit India and Andhra Pradesh soon. 

The chief minister announced that a separate cell for Japanese firms will be opened in the industries department for speedy clearances and to extend all help to those keen to invest. The proposed cell will have a few escort executives who speak Japanese. 

Claiming that he was successful in building the trust and with the Japanese investors, Naidu said he aimed to make Andhra Pradesh as the top Indian investment destination for Japanese firms from the present third position.

N Chandrababu Naidu taking oath as the first chief minister of residual Andhra Pradesh, on June 8, 2014. 

The chief minister said a MoU was also likely between Yokohama and Kakinada cities for sister-city relations. Naidu also sought help of Japanese firms in port infrastructure and in establishing exclusive container ports at Visakhapatnam and Krishnapatnam to make them logistic hubs for Southeast Asia. 

The delegation led by Naidu visited Osaka, Kyoto, Fukuoka and Tokyo. 

Naidu also met Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who agreed to visit Andhra Pradesh during his proposed India visit next year. While appreciating Japan's commitment of $35 billion investments in India, Naidu requested him to earmark a significant share for the development of Andhra Pradesh. 

A MoU was signed with Japan's ministry of economy, trade and industry (METI) for promotion of direct investment by Japanese companies to Andhra Pradesh in various fields. METI will also support development of industrial parks in the state. 

New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) signed a MoU with the state government, which covers sharing information and exchange opinions about smart community activities and success stories of Japan. 

Sumitomo Corporation signed four MoUs including the one to develop 4,000MW thermal power station. Under another MoU, Sumitomo will help the state in developing the new capital as a world class smart city. 

Kitakyushu city agreed to partner with the state in developing the capital city and with authorities of select cities in making sustainable and smart cities. 

Stating that Japan achieved tremendous development with sheer discipline and hard work despite natural calamities and other challenges, Naidu said the new state of Andhra Pradesh has a lot to learn from it.