After Indo-Japanese car major Maruti Suzuki India decided to make Gujarat its next big manufacturing hub in India after Haryana, the ball has been set rolling to develop a country-specific industrial park or cluster near Maruti Suzuki's proposed plant site in Hansalpur.
A senior state government official close to the development said, "Around 500 hectares of land has been earmarked for Japan-based companies to set up shop here. This is close to the Maruti Suzuki proposed plant site. The aim is to draw mid-sized Japanese companies into the park." He added that the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO) is playing a crucial role in attracting investment into the cluster.
Japan is one of the partner countries in the upcoming investor meet Vibrant Gujarat Summit. A huge delegation led by JETRO comprising over 150 companies is expected to visit during the summit.
State government sources claimed that primarily companies in the electronics space have shown keen interest in coming to Gujarat.
"These are mainly mid-sized companies that are into making of electronic chips, or semi-conductors that are looking at setting up a manufacturing base in the state", the official said.
A recycling solution provider Japan Environment Planning (Jeplan) is looking at setting up a mobile phone recycling plant in Gujarat. While the location is yet to be decided, it could come up at the Japanese cluster planned at Hansalpur, informed a government official.
The area around Maruti Suzuki's plant, comprising over 44 villages is getting developed as a special investment region. A separate body called the Mandal-Becharaji Development Authority has been incorporated which is working on a detailed development plan for the investment region. The state government is also planning a 600 hectare township project at a 15-20 minutes drive distance from the upcoming Maruti plant. "The infrastructure at the township would be of international standard, and the cost of infrastructure development is estimated to be around Rs 80 lakh to Rs 1 crore per hectare", said another senior state government official.
Apart from the Hansalpur area, off late Gujarat has seen Japanese investment flowing into the state. Hitachi has partnered with Gandhinagar based HiRel Electronics to set up a high voltage drives manufacturing plant at Sanand near Ahmedabad.
The Sanand factory will produce industrial power electronics products such as medium-voltage and low voltage inverter drives steel automation drives and industrial automation products.
A Japanese consortium led by Hitachi and Itochu is setting up a desalination and water supply plant at Dahej.
The upcoming plant, touted to be Asia's largest desalination plant, would process 336,000 tonnes of water per day. Mitsubishi Corporation too is eyeing several projects in Gujarat including a fertilizer complex at Dahej in partnership with Zuari Group, a steel-based unit to cater to the requirements of auto industries in partnership with Metal One India and an aluminium extrusion plant in Sanand apart from projects like modern common effluent treatment plant and water recyling plant and also an ship recycling yard improvement project in Alang.