Japan firms invest Rs 500 cr in 1st country-specific industrial hub

The first wave of investments of over Rs 500 crore have poured into the new Japanese Industrial Estate that is being developed by the state government in Mandal taluka of Ahmedabad district. This is Gujarat's first country specific industrial estate.

Located near the upcoming Rs 4,000 crore Maruti Suzuki's car manufacturing plant, it has been specially designed to attract industries from Japan.

"We have already developed Phase I of the Japanese Industrial Estate over 150 hectares of land at Vithalapur and the first investments from Japan have come," said a senior official from the Gujarat government, who did not wish to be identified.

"Gujarat Industrial Development Corporation (GIDC), which is the nodal agency for developing this industrial estate, has already received applications from five to six Japanese firms for setting up their units here. All of these are in the non-polluting companies and are in the manufacturing sector. One of them have also been granted in-principal approval," the official said without revealing the names of the companies.

These companies have come through the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), a trade and investment promotion arm of the Japanese government, which is marketing this industrial estate in Japan. In the past couple of years, JETRO had signed a formal memorandum of

understanding and also held several round of talks with the Gujarat government to finalise this Japan-specific industrial cluster near Ahmedabad.

This Japanese Industrial Estate in Gujarat at Vithalapur is located about 15 km from the proposed Maruti Suzuki's first car manufacturing plant at Hansalpur and is expected to be larger than the existing Japanese zone at Neemrana in Rajasthan. Vithalapur is also where Maruti Suzuki has acquired another land parcel of 600 acres for their second car manufacturing plant in the state.

"We are in the process of acquiring about 600 hectares of additional land for expanding this estate at a later stage," a GIDC official said.

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