Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis Monday said Shandong Hi-Speed Group company had agreed to enter a partnership with MSRDC and MMRDA for infrastructure development in Mumbai and the rest of Maharashtra.
At the end of his five-day tour to China, officials said Fadnavis engaged the biggest firms there to consider Maharashtra as their investment destination in the areas of infrastructure, IT, tourism, automobiles, electronic engineering, railways and seaports.
“Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s initiative to promote province-to-province meeting culminated in Shandong and Maharashtra agreeing to economic cooperation in two major areas of infrastructure investment and sharing Chinese technology. To begin with, they would work along the Nhava-Sheva Transharbour Link. Shandong Hi-Speed Group has agreed to come to Maharashtra and partner with MSRDC and MMRDA to upgrade infrastructure,” Fadnavis said in a text message to The Indian Express.
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He held a meeting with Mayor Zhang Xinqi of Quingdao city on Monday morning.
Later, at a seminar, he said several mega projects in his state would look up to Chinese firms for their expertise to make them more economical and advanced. High on the CM’s agenda are the Mumbai, Pune and Nagpur Metro projects and the high-speed corridor between Nagpur and Mumbai, among others.
Though Gujarat appears to have signed maximum MoUs (26) with Chinese firms during the trip, with state Chief Minister Anandiben Patel leading the delegation, a senior bureaucrat who was part of the Central delegation said Maharashtra engaged major companies in wider sectors, which would lead to long-term partnerships and financial implications.
The state managed to tap investments worth USD 500 million (excluding MoUs).
“Gujarat focused on its mega water linking project worth Rs 26,000 crore where it has explored Chinese expertise and investment to override the water crisis in state,” said the officer.
All three chief ministers in the delegation were tapping investment as per their respective state’s requirement.
Fadnavis said, “If I were to single out one common area of concern that can be related to both urban and rural, it is infrastructure. Our emphasis in China was on gaining expertise on infrastructure along the seaports, sealinks and bridges and high speed trains to enhance the connectivity and minimise the time factor.”
The list of Chinese firms that are set to visit Maharashtra to take forward the investment talks include China Roads and Bridge Corporation, China Harbour Engineering Corporation, China Communication services Corporation, Zhu Lei of Yapp, Automotive (biggest fuel tank manufacturer), Foxconn and China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd. Almost 1,000 hectares have been identified near Pune for Beiqi Foton, which wants to start manufacturing light transport vehicles.
Fadnavis said, “It will be my endeavor to improve the understanding between Chinese and Indian business methods and tax laws to enhance better partnership and increase more investments. One of the reasons for low flow of investment over the years can be attributed to the failure to understand each other’s business methods and tax laws and regulations. We have to remove the misunderstanding for greater economic collaborations ahead.”