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Kolkata-based Infinity Group is set to build a Rs 4,000-crore Education City in Bhutan, and has formed a joint venture with Infrastructure Leasing & Financial Services Limited for this.
At 8,000 ft above sea level, this might well be the first project at such an elevation.
The 1,000-acre project plot is placed between capital Thimphu and Paro, where the country’s lone airport is located. “The land acquisition is complete and the work should start in sometime. We have formed a 50:50 JV with ILFS for the same and the whole project would see an investment of around Rs 4,000 crore,” Ravindra Chamaria, group chairman, told Business Standard.
It is also in talks with the leading universities of the UK, US and Australia, who have shown interest to set up their campuses in the world's youngest democracy.
"The talks are on with these institutions at various levels with some world renowned universities. But the details are yet to be worked out to announce those names,” he said adding that the 600-year independent school of UK ?Durham School?which entered India on Thursday is likely to set up campus there.
This would be a real boost and one of the big investments to be made in Bhutan, which is leaving no stone unturned to attract foreign investment. The country has been keen to rope in investors especially after a survey was carried out by the World Bank in 2011, called the investment climate assessment not very 'investment friendly' and that access to finance was one major constraint.
The World Bank survey pointed out lack of infrastructure as a major reason for poor performance in the investments despite scoring on political stability. Bhutan's foreign direct investment flow was only $120m in 2010, according to the report.
Chamaria pointed out that the funds required for the mega project have come from internal accrual and there was no plan for private equity placement to feed the expansion needs.