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GMR Infrastructure on Tuesday signed a memorandum of understanding with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) aimed at providing low-cost, long duration financing to Japanese companies investing in the GMR Group’s projects. The tie-up, which came alongside Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Japan, is seen among the first such between a bilateral agency and a private company.
Over the next 12 months, GMR and JBIC will work on identifying projects to attract Japanese investments, said a GMR press release. The Japanese lender will aim at promoting opportunities for Japanese companies to participate in the development of industrial parks, energy projects, ports, airports, highways and railway projects. “This will serve to improve infrastructure in India and support development of the necessary foundation for Japanese companies’ business activities in India,” said the release.
GMR has interests in airports, power plants, highways and urban infrastructure. Besides operating the Delhi and Hyderabad airports in which it has foreign partners, the company also recently won a 25-year concession to expand and operate the Mactan-Cebu International Airport, the second largest airport in the Philippines.
“It is a landmark event and the first that any bilateral agency has made with a company in the private sector. It is a manifestation of the belief that an international agency like JBIC has in the delivery capabilities of the GMR group,” said B V N Rao, GMR’s business chairman for urban infrastructure and highways, who signed the MoU on behalf of the company in Tokyo.
India’s infrastructure sector would require an investment of
$1 trillion during the 12th Plan period spanning 2012-2017 and private sector investment is expected to play an important role in this, the release said.