Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin is back in Chennai after a nine-day visit to Singapore and Japan.
“We started the trip to Singapore and Japan with a target of attracting investments to the tune of ₹3,000 crores. But we have acquired investments to the tune of ₹3,233 crores,” the chief minister said, while speaking to reporters at Chennai airport on the evening of Wednesday, 31 May.
Stalin stated that the investments would provide direct and indirect employment opportunities to nearly 5,000 people.
Several Memoranda of Understanding (MoU) were signed during the visit. They would boost the small and medium-scale industries and enhance training in higher education.
Stalin, with his delegation including Industries Minister TRB Raaja and IAS officers, started the trip on 23 May.
During his two-day stay in Singapore, Guidance Tamil Nadu signed an MoU with Hi-P Group to establish the latter’s first manufacturing plant in India. Hi-P is a contract manufacturer for telecommunications, lifestyle, and computing industries, specialising in electromechanical components.
Further, the Singapore Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SICCI) and Guidance Tamil Nadu signed an MoU covering investment promotion, research and innovation, trade diversification, and supply chain resilience.
The chief minister also met Dilhan Pillay Sandrasegara, Executive Director and CEO of Temasek, Kim Yin Wong of Sembcorp, and Sanjeev Dasgupta of CapitaLand and invited them to the Global Investors Meet next year in Tamil Nadu.
Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry signed an MoU with the State Industries Promotion Corporation of Tamil Nadu (SIPCOT) to cooperate on a “Sustainable Industrial Park”
Singapore and Tamil Nadu also signed two MoUs on skill development to strengthen people-to-people connections.
Stalin was in Japan for five days. During his stay, the chief minister and his delegation visited the NEC Future Creation Hub in Tokyo and also held discussions on the possibilities of working together in technology and innovation platforms.
The state signed an MoU with Omron, one of the largest medical electronics equipment manufacturers in the world, allowing them to set up its first medical diagnostics devices manufacturing unit in Tamil Nadu at a cost of ₹128 crore.
The chief minister also addressed the Investment Conclaves in Tokyo and Osaka. He then visited the Komatsu production facility in Osaka and urged the company’s top officials to expand its plant in Oragadam in Tamil Nadu.
Stalin also took a bullet train from Osaka to Tokyo, covering 500 km in two and a half hours. During the visit, Stalin met the Tamil diaspora living in Japan.
Demand for direct Tokyo flight
On the last day of the trip, Stalin urged the Centre to announce direct flight connectivity between Chennai and Tokyo.
In a statement, he said that many large Japanese conglomerates like Nissan, Toshiba, Yamaha, Komatsu, Mitsubishi, and Hitachi have set up their manufacturing facilities in Tamil Nadu.
Pointing out that out of the 12 industrial townships established in India under the Japan-India Investment Promotion Partnership Program, three are in Tamil Nadu.
With more than 600 Japanese companies setting up establishments over the past two decades, the influx of Japanese expatriates has slowly increased, Stalin said.
“The lack of direct flight connectivity more than doubles the travel time between these two destinations by about 7 hours. There have been persistent requests from the Japanese business community in Tamil Nadu to resume direct flight services between Chennai and Tokyo,” he said.
“The state is to host the Global Investors’ Meet in January 2024 and as we seek to attract greater investments from Japan. Resumption of direct flights would be a commendable measure,” he said while requesting the Ministry of Civil Aviation to initiate steps to resume direct flight services between Chennai and Tokyo.