Clustered Tech Project to Take Shape with Initial Investment of US$ 350 million
Set to Generate Large-Scale Employment Opportunities in IT and Allied Sectors
Dubai-UAE: 5 March, 2011 – A lease agreement that will flag off the development of SmartCity Kochi, an IT infrastructure project jointly promoted by TECOM Investments and the State Government of Kerala in India, has been signed between Abdullatif AlMulla, TECOM Group CEO who is also the Vice-Chairman of SmartCity Kochi, and Suresh Kumar, IT Secretary of the Kerala Government.
The lease agreement for 246 acres of land will set the momentum for the development of a self-sustained knowledge-based industry township in Kochi. It will also bring TECOM Investments a step closer to its international expansion strategy of creating successful prototypes of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City at various locations worldwide.
The lease agreement was duly registered the same day for the clustered tech project, which will take shape with an initial investment of US$350 million and generate large-scale employment opportunities in the IT and allied sectors.
The signing ceremony was held during the Board of Directors’ meeting at Infopark. S. Sharma, Minister of Registration and Fisheries and Chairman of SmartCity Kochi, was present during the occasion.
On behalf of TECOM Investments, M.A. Yusuff Ali, Managing Director of EMKE Group, and Anirudha Damkey, Executive Director-Corporate Finance, signed as witnesses, while K. Kurian, Senior Technical Advisor of Infopark, Kochi, and Binu Pazhoor, Chief Executive Officer of Infopark, signed as witnesses on behalf of the State Government of Kerala.
AlMulla said: “This key step reflects our confidence in the vision for SmartCity Kochi and our commitment to the people of Kerala. We are optimistic about completing this project as planned and fulfill all the time-bound contractual obligations mentioned in the framework agreement.
“The progress that will result from the signing of a fresh lease agreement will give further momentum to our plans of continuing the expansion of the SmartCity global network. Reflecting the success story of our knowledge clusters, we aim to utilize the SmartCity project to further strengthen the economies of the communities we are located in.”
Construction on SmartCity Kochi is expected to begin soon after the Special Economic Zone notification is received for 131 acres, which has already been cleared by the Board of Approval of India’s Union Commerce Ministry.
SmartCity Kochi will be one of India’s largest business parks and include a state-of-the-art business community infrastructure and a dynamic range of retail, hospitality, residential and recreational facilities to drive productive business as well as a quality lifestyle. Apart from drawing strong foreign direct investment (FDI) inflows, the project’s multiplier effects are expected to bring several additional benefits to the economy.
The first European outpost of the global SmartCity network, SmartCity Malta is set to become the leading ICT and media destination in the Mediterranean. SmartCity Malta received the ‘Best Investment Award in Europe’ award in 2009, recognising the project as the largest foreign direct investment in a European country.
SmartCity’s self-sustained townships will seek to harness commerce by providing an environment conducive to business, intelligent infrastructure and advanced support systems. SmartCity entities worldwide will be home to vibrant knowledge economies that are anchored by international, regional and local companies.