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Exclusive: Tamil Nadu woos investors and takes cues from Gitex



The southern Indian state of Tamil Nadu is wooing investors from the UAE while extending support to non-resident citizens of the country to think of the homeland as a destination for their small and medium enterprises, big corporations and startups.

Along with meeting investor groups in Dubai last week, the nodal head for Tamil Nadu’s dedicated investment vehicle, took cues and boosted networking opportunities at the Gitex Global, the world’s largest show for technology.

Invited to address a group of businessmen from the state, Sivarajah Ramanathan, Mission Director and CEO of TN Startup and Innovation Mission (TANSIM), came for a brief meeting and was heading to another in a hectic schedule of parleying, but spoke to in a quick chat. Tamil Nadu is the third Indian state – after Rajasthan and Orissa – to have announced initiatives to attract investment this year alone from the UAE.

“My visit has two purposes,” Mr Ramanathan said. “Gitex is one of the premier expos in the world, so it is important to understand the developments in the field. There is also a large diaspora here and a lot of high-net worth individuals (HNI) who can help the startups as mentors. More than investments and networking, the HNIs can help connect the markets. My job is to get them connected and bring the resources to the state.”

While the focus among the HNIs is obviously the Tamil investor groups because “they are the low-hanging fruit due to their emotional connect,” Mr Ramanathan conceded that “we need to work with other nationals and governments at the next stage.

“My domain focus is the startups. So we would love to work with countries in the technology space like the US, Israel, some of the European countries, and lucrative markets such as Dubai and Singapore.”

Welcoming the competition with other states, he confessed that others have got a headstart. “In our country, the states are like brothers and there will be some individual competitiveness. We would also want to be competitive and be the number one. This is the first year that the TN government has floated a focused agency TANSIM. We are coming up with lot of investment-friendly schemes, grants, equity funds, incubation centres, and benefit schemes such as one where someone wants to sell their products up to the tune of 50 lakhs to the government, they can do without tender processes.”

Sivarajah Ramanathan, left, heads the first team at TANSIM, a focused agency by Tamil Nadu government for startups. Courtesy RISE Global Group

Mr Ramanathan addressed some of the questions put forth by an enthusiastic audience where he assured people and explained the government platforms available for information.

Muthu Kumar, who started his own gas company in 2015 and now claims to have more than 500 employees, wished that “many aspiring entrepreneurs get the encouragement to start like him” from such initiatives.

Karthick Ramaraj is an employee in the oil and gas industry with a Spanish-based company and heads the Middle East sales and projects. “We got a good outline of what needs to be done. In fact, I had a proposal that there should be a mechanism where Tamil Nadu can support young engineering graduate trainees. It was satisfying to know from Mr Ramanathan that protocols are in place to submit online the proposals I have in mind. He even suggested me to look into supporting the placement cell at TANSIM.”

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GCC powers reiterate ADIPEC message at COP27 on two-pronged focus




This article is part of a syndication service from Al-Monitor.

As the United Nations Climate Summit COP27 comes to a close this week in Egypt’s Sharm el-Sheikh, the conference’s key aim of ensuring full adherence to the Paris Agreement is unlikely to be fulfilled. Since last year’s COP26 in Glasgow, Scotland, “only 29 out of 194 countries [in the agreement] came forward with tightened national plans,” a UN press release stated.

Yet, while most members are making some efforts to cap climate change, the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) states have focused on the need for a two-pronged approach to climate — focusing on both oil and green energy — amid rising energy demand following the war in Ukraine and the nations’ reliance on energy exports as a mainstay of their economics.

Pointing out the impracticality of the climate goals laid out at last year’s summit, Dr Sultan Al Jaber, chief executive officer of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., said that the lack of sufficient investment in fossil fuels before alternatives were able to meet the world’s energy needs is “a recipe for disaster.”

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UAE energy company reckons Africa to be hydrogen hub




This article is in syndication from Al-Monitor.

Hydrogen continues to be a major topic at the United Nations Climate Change Conference, aka COP27.

The Emirati renewable energy company Masdar released a report today on the potential of the African continent to become a hub for the generation of green hydrogen.

What is green hydrogen? Hydrogen can be used as an energy source when it is separated from water via electricity. When that electricity is powered by renewable energy, such as solar or wind power, it is referred to as green hydrogen.

Africa’s potential: Masdar identified several factors that indicate the potential of African countries to produce green hydrogen. The continent has an abundance of sunshine and land, as well as relative cost effectiveness vis-a-vis other areas.

The Abu Dhabi-based company, which is owned by the Emirati government, predicted that Africa could produce 30 to 60 million tons per year of green hydrogen by 2050. This would require between $680 billion and $1.3 trillion in investment, however. At present, Africa as a whole accounts for only about 3% of global hydrogen project announcements, according to Masdar’s report.

Masdar is not alone in its thinking. The DC-based Brookings Institution released a report in May noting Africa’s excellent solar and wind resources and hydropower potential along the Nile and Congo rivers. The report further noted that several European countries have expressed interest in developing Africa’s hydrogen sector.

Challenges: It will be difficult for Africa to become a hydrogen hub, however. The Brookings report also pointed out that more than half of Africa’s population does not have electricity. Hydrogen also requires water at a time of rising water scarcity in Africa. Moreover, maritime shipping of hydrogen would add to costs, according to Brookings.

Why it matters: Gulf states, including the UAE, are showing increasing interest in green hydrogen. In May, the Abu Dhabi National Oil Company signed a green hydrogen cooperation agreement with British Petroleum.
Some of the Gulf’s hydrogen projects are in Africa. In October, Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Power signed a green hydrogen deal with South Africa.

Egypt and Morocco have also shown a strong interest in green hydrogen. The Saudi company Alfanar pledged in August to start building a green hydrogen plant in Egypt.

Know more: Green hydrogen is a stated focus of COP27 this year. Egypt announced another green hydrogen project at the conference this week. At the same time, many more fossil fuel industry lobbyists are present at the conference this year than compared to last.

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World’s tallest residential tower to be built in Dubai




Uniting their rich heritage and iconic architectural and horological codes, power brands Binghatti and Jacob & Co introduce their ultra-luxury Dubai skyscraper. The project, ‘Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences’, aspires to achieve the record for the world’s tallest residential structure. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences coins a new term in upper-crust real estate: hypertower. Opening a new era in uber-luxury living, this unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world. In a great leap upwards, it stands opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay.

The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences. This jewel of a building features unique designs co-signed by and co-designed in the recognizable style of watchmaking and jewelry brand Jacob & Co and leading Dubai-based developer Binghatti. Burj Binghatti Jacob & Co Residences includes multiple levels dedicated to such amenities as an infinity pool overlooking the entire Dubai skyline, a luxury spa and a gymnasium. This hypertower also houses a dedicated concierge team, offering à la carte services such as daycare, bodyguard, chauffeur and private chef.

“This unparalleled skyscraper aims to set a record as one of the tallest residential constructions in the world,” according to a Binghatti statement. In a great leap upwards, the property developer said ultra-luxury skyscraper will stand opulently in the heart of Dubai’s most eminent financial district, Business Bay. The proposed design comprises over 100 stories that are made of lavish two-bedroom and three-bedroom residences.

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