Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin on Monday laid the foundation stone for India’s first international furniture park at Thoothukudi in Tamil Nadu. At the event, 33 companies signed the Memorandum of Understanding with an investment of ₹4,755 crore, generating employment for 17,476 people. This includes ₹2,845 crore investments in furniture park.

The 1,156 acres park will be set up in Meelavattan and South Veerapandiyapuram in the Thoothukudi district, 13 km from the VOC Port.

The park seeks to create a better ecosystem to meet 70-80 per cent of the raw material demand, drastically reduce production costs and increase the competitiveness of Tamil Nadu in the furniture sector.

Some of the companies that signed MoUs include Hettich (investment of ₹750 crore), New Century (₹400 crore), Deceuninck (₹400 crore), Vikas (₹320 crore) and Marque Impex (₹150 crore), says a tweet by Guidance Tamil Nadu.

The park’s first phase is expected to be fully operational in 4-5 years with an investment of ₹1,500-1,800 crore, employing 1.1-1.5 lakh people. The second phase is likely to be fully operational in 8 to 10 years with an investment of ₹3,500 crore-4,500 crore providing employment to 3-3.50 lakh people, says a State government release.

The State government had also signed MoUs with six companies across food processing, textile and garments and chemicals & fertilisers. The MoUs represent total investments of about ₹1,643 crore and can generate 3,650 jobs in southern districts.

In the MSME segment, the State government signed pacts for a total investment of ₹267 crore. These projects, spread across construction, food processing, glass, solar and medical equipment and textiles, may create jobs for more than 2,370 people, the release said.