By Praveen Paramasivam
CHENNAI (Reuters) -India’s southern state of Tamil Nadu has signed investment pacts worth more than $4.39 billion with firms such as Apple suppliers Tata Electronics and Pegatron, as well as auto major Hyundai Motors, it said on Sunday.
Apple is counting on India as the next big driver of its growth as the tech giant looks to diversify some production away from China, with Pegatron working towards a second factory in the country where Tata Group last year began to assemble iPhones.
Tata Electronics, a part of the Indian conglomerate, committed to invest 120.8 billion rupees for mobile phone assembly operations, the state government said during the signing of the agreements.
“The Tamil Nadu government will support investors in every way possible,” Chief Minister M. K. Stalin said at the event, adding that it sought to play a major role in India’s growth.
Pegatron, Apple’s Taiwan supplier, will also invest 10 billion rupees to expand production, the government added.
Separately, Tata Power is exploring investments up to 700 billion rupees in Tamil Nadu over the next several years,including investments made in some existing projects, its chief executive officer and managing director Praveer Sinha said at a press briefing at the event.
The pacts, unveiled at a meeting of global investors, are projected to generate thousands of jobs in the state.
The state’s summit comes days before another investment summit in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s home state Gujarat where hundreds of domestic and foreign investors are expected to attend.
Sunday’s deals in Tamil Nadu include an agreement with JSW Energy to invest 120 billion rupees to develop renewable energy projects.
Auto major Hyundai Motors also committed 61.80 billion rupees, some of it earmarked for electric vehicle (EV) battery and car manufacturing, the government added.
On Saturday, Vietnamese EV maker VinFast agreed to set up its first manufacturing facilities in India and work toward an investment of up to $2 billion in Tamil Nadu, as more companies seek to penetrate the world’s third-largest vehicle market.
Nike shoemaker Hong Fu is set to sign a pact with the state to invest nearly 10.4 billion rupees in India, with another 16.6 billion rupees expected soon, Aqeel Panaruna, chairman of Florenece Shoe – the company’s India partner – said at the event.
($1=83.1030 Indian rupees)
(Writing by Shivangi Acharya; Editing by Clarence Fernandez, Elaine Hardcastle)