Wed, May 16, 2018 - Page 12 News List

Joint ventures advised when tapping India

SMART CITIES:TAITRA chairman James Huang said finding a suitable local business partner might be the most efficient way for Taiwanese companies to build a presence

By Kuo Chia-erh  /  Staff reporter, in AHMEDABAD, India

Taiwanese companies should team up to explore business opportunities in India’s growing smart cities, Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA, 外貿協會) chairman James Huang (黃志芳) said yesterday.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s administration has unveiled a list of 100 cities for its ambitious smart cities project, Huang told the Taipei Times during a visit to Shantigram, a newly built town developed by India’s infrastructure conglomerate Adani Group.

The trade promotion agency held its Smart Asia trade show featuring technology applications used to improve city infrastructure for the first time in Bengaluru, India, in November last year.

“Some Taiwanese companies successfully secured orders from Indian customers [for the city development projects] after the event,” Huang said, referring to industrial computer provider Advantech Co (研華) and energy management supplier Delta Electronics Inc (台達電).

“LED streetlights and electronic water meters are also niche Taiwanese products [in India],” he said, adding that Taiwanese companies should also consider introducing healthcare and transportation services, such as Taipei’s YouBike public bicycle rental scheme.

Asked about how companies can overcome difficulties when they seek to enter the Indian market, Huang said finding a suitable local business partner might be the most efficient way for Taiwanese firms to build their presence in the nation.

“Taking Adani as an example, the group’s nationwide distribution channels could lend support to Taiwanese companies that would like to promote their products in India,” he said.

Adani is still in discussions with state-owned oil company CPC Corp, Taiwan (台灣中油) to jointly build a petrochemical park in India’s Mundra special economic zone, despite increasing uncertainty about the project, people familiar with the matter said.

The two firms are still discussing the project and the Indian group is very willing to participate in the NT$180 billion (US$6.03 million) project, Adani’s Taiwan representative Morris Chang (張健庭) said on Monday, adding that some Japanese firms have also expressed an interest.

Gujarat-headquartered Adani, which operates India’s largest thermal power plant, is also the biggest private energy producer in India.

CPC has been trying to expand its footprint in India to develop a complete supply chain for Taiwanese petrochemical suppliers as part of the government’s New Southbound Policy.

However, CPC chairman Tai Chein (戴謙) last month voiced concerns about the uncertainty of government-backed investment in India, saying that Adani, which previously planned to take a 26 percent stake in the project, had changed its mind.

In addition, Adani’s proposal might bring unfavorable tariffs and higher transportation costs, as the proposed site is not in a special economic zone and does not qualify for favorable tax terms, Tai said.

CPC plans to complete the assessment of the India project by September, it said.

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