Japanese automaker Nissan Motor has begun international arbitration against India to seek more than $770 million in a dispute over unpaid state incentives, according to a person familiar with the matter and documents reviewed by Reuters. Ciara Lee reports
It's calling in the debts... And India is on Nissan's hitlist. Reportedly sueing the country for more than 770 million dollars in unpaid state incentives. In a notice sent to Prime Minister Modi last year, Nissan sought payment from the Tamil Nadu government After a 2008 agreement to set up a car manufacturing plant in the southern state. The state government promised several incentives including some tax refunds. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "For a large corporation to be promised subsidies to go in and create a manufacturing plant, create jobs in India, only not to be paid those subsidies, will be a massive black eye to India and will be a warning sign to other corporations looking to invest in India." Over seven years, Nissan and its partner Renault invested $946 million In August, the Japanese automaker reportedly gave India an ultimatum To appoint an arbitrator, with the first hearing potentially this month. A Tamil Nadu state official said the government hoped to resolve the dispute without the need for that. It's the latest in a string of international arbitration proceedings against India Investors are concerned about issues ranging from tax to payments disputes. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LCG SENIOR ANALYST, JASPER LAWLER, SAYING: "I think this is really bad for India's image as a global business hub because there was such high expectation when Modi was first elected that he was going to reel back the corruption in India, and make all these processes for businesses to act in the economy more transparent." Several automakers, including Ford and Hyundai have set up production hubs in Tamil Nadu giving state capital Chennai the nickname; the 'Detroit of South Asia'.