Hyderabad: In a bid to collaborate with Japan for the Hyderabad metro rail’s phase-2 works, the Telangana government and Hyderabad Metro Rail (HMR) officials held talks with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), which channels development assistance from the Japan government to overseas entities.

The talks were held last week when Telangana information technology and industries minister K.T. Rama Rao, along with other state government officials, visited Japan and South Korea and held bilateral discussions with companies to invest in the state in upcoming projects like the Pharma city and the Kakatiya Textile park in the state. Rao is presently in Davos, Switzerland, to attend the World Economic Forum.

“We have initiated talks with JICA, which finances different infrastructure projects, as of now. The investment process is a long one. We will prepare a detailed project report (for the collaboration with JICA for the metro rail’s phase-2 project), which has to be approved by our state cabinet and then the government of India. Only then will it be sent to JICA," said N.V.S. Reddy, managing director, HMR, at a press conference on Monday.

Reddy added that HMR will complete the 66-kilometer (originally 72-kilometer) phase-1 of the metro rail network by the year-end. As of now, a 30-kilometer stretch connecting Hyderabad to the Hi-tech city area is operational.

Gaddam Vivekanand, advisor to the government of Telangana, who was part of the delegation that visited Japan and South Korea, said a lot of “fruitful" discussion had taken place with big companies, which are interested in coming to the state for investment. “They were impressed with our government providing 100% incentives (for investors), 100 % electricity and even water," he added.

Vivekanad said a memorandum of understanding was signed to develop long-term collaboration between South Korea and the state in the fields of animation, gaming, artificial intelligence and electronic manufacturing.

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