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June 5, 1997


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Andhra plans $ 420 million industrial park to attract foreign investors

J S Sai in Hyderabad

The Andhra Pradesh government proposes to set up a huge industrial park near Visakhapatnam to attract investments and boost exports.

With world-class infrastructural facilities, the $ 420 million park is intended to give the Chinese economic zones a run for their money. Not only by attracting Southeast Asian investors, but also by making a dent in their exports.

''The Singapore-based Daiwa Institute of Research has been asked to conduct a feasibility study,'' said B V Ramna Murthy, chief general manager of the Andhra Pradesh Industrial Infrastructure Corporation, the state agency handling the project.

Daiwa has been entrusted with the task as its recommendations are considered ''gospel by Japanese giants''.

Once Daiwa's feasibility report is ready, APIIC will enter into a memorandum of understanding with an overseas company which has the required technical and financial resources besides marketing abilities.

The park will be developed with aid from the Japan International Co-operation Agency. The state government has already sought JICA aid for funding Daiwa's study, Murthy said. The AP government will have little investment in the project apart from providing 3,500 acres of land. Adequate power, water and other basics will also be provided by the state.

The project will be located at Parwada, about 30 km from Visakhapatnam, India's second largest port which handled 35 million tonnes during 1995-96. The port, located on the eastern coast, is geared to handle 54 million tonnes by 2001. Besides, the satellite ports of Gangavaram and Muthyalampalem offer immense scope for future development.

Considering its proximity to countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand, the port will prove very beneficial to petrochemical, food-processing, mineral- and marine-based industries.

Asked if the project has been cleared by the Government of India, an APIIC official said a formal approval was awaited.

The state government also proposes to set up an international airport in Visakhapatnam with private participation at the cost of Rs 50 billion.

Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu has promised to develop Visakhapatnam into an ''international city'' besides making it the state's commercial capital.

Addressing industrialists and senior government officials in Visakhapatnam earlier this month, Naidu said he was confident that foreign investments will flood the area as his government has decided to develop the 150-km stretch between Visakhapatnam and Kakinada into an industrial zone.

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