Dubai builds $385mn Indian IT zone

Work begins on Kochi SmartCity which aims to create 90,000 jobs within 10 years in India's Kerala state.

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By  Lynne Roberts Published  October 23, 2007

Dubai’s Technology and Media Free Zone Authority (Tecom) is to begin work on a $385 million IT park in the Indian state of Kerala.

Construction gets underway next month for the Kochi-based project, according to news agency AFP.

IT consultant Joseph Mathew told AFP the foundation stone for ‘Kochi SmartCity' would be laid in the first week of November. “SmartCity will become a reality soon. The government will hand over 246 acres of land to Tecom, promoters of the project” Mathew said.

Tecom and Kerala cemented an agreement to develop Kochi SmartCity in May, following three years of negotiations.

The project aims to create 90,000 new jobs within 10 years in a state where four million under 35s are unemployed among a population of 31.8 million.

Based on the same model as Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City, it is expected to attract around $350 million worth of investment.

The Kerala government is to provide water, power and a four-lane highway to the development, AFP reported. The government will have a 26% stake and three seats, including the chair on a 10 member board.

Around 70% of space will be devoted to IT related activity, with the remainder used for commercial, residential and recreational purposes.

SmartCity is a joint venture between Tecom and Sama Dubai, part of Dubai Holding.

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