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France's CMA CGM Group, one of the world's top container shipping companies, plans to develop India's largest container port in a joint venture with local Adani Ports & SEZ, the partners said Friday.
The 50:50 venture will add a fourth terminal at the Mundra port in the western state of Gujarat and marks the first port investment in India by the French firm, said the notice to the Bombay Stock Exchange.
Construction on the facility is due to begin immediately, and its completion, expected in two years, will make Mundra the country's largest container port, the statement said.
Farid T. Salem, executive officer of CMA CGM, said his company had "strong ambitions" in India.
"With this investment, CMA CGM and Adani Ports will develop a state-of-the-art infrastructure that will play a key role for the development of the country's industry," he said.
Adani Ports & SEZ is part of the Adani Group, founded by billionaire industrialist Gautam Adani, who has been closely linked to India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Critics have accused Modi, previously chief minister of Gujarat state where he earned his business-friendly reputation, of favouring Adani with cheap land to build the Mundra port.