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Dubai firm signs deal for $350m tech park in India

Special Economic Zone status to kick start stalled SmartCity Kochi project

Dubai firm signs deal for $350m tech park in India
The SmartCity Kochi development was first announced in 2004, although construction has yet to start.

A lease agreement has been signed which gives the green light to a $350m IT infrastructure project planned by Dubai-based Tecom Investments in India.

The deal with the State Government of Kerala for the SmartCity Kochi scheme has been dogged by delays but the agreement is expected to give new momentum.

Construction on SmartCity Kochi is expected to begin soon after a Special Economic Zone notification was received for 131 acres, which has already been cleared by the Board of Approval of India's Union Commerce Ministry.

For Tecom, the deal represents a big step in its international expansion strategy of creating successful prototypes of Dubai Internet City and Dubai Media City at various locations worldwide.

The lease agreement for the 246-acre project will take shape with an initial investment of $350 million and generate large-scale employment opportunities in the IT and allied sectors.

Abdullatif AlMulla, Tecom Group CEO who is also the Vice-Chairman of SmartCity Kochi, 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."

SmartCity Kochi will be one of India's largest business parks and include a range of retail, hospitality, residential and recreational facilities.

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