Kerala Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, on Friday, gave a big welcome to diplomats of foreign missions here and who is who of Indian industry to invest in Kerala.
Wooing them at a mega event, organised by the State Government for promoting industries, Mr. Chandy said: “Kerala is ready for investment. We want to send out a message to the world that investment is welcome.”
Mr. Chandy, who was accompanied by his Cabinet colleagues and State officials, urged the heads of foreign missions to take the message to their countries and facilitate the flow of investment. The investors need not worry about land acquisition as the government had worked out a suitable rehabilitation and compensation mechanism for the land owners, he said.
The meeting was a run-up to “Emerging Kerala Global Connect”, to be organised by the State, at Kochi during September 12 -14. “The State Government has a clear development agenda, which is tailor-made to attract investments. The long-term economic growth and progress of the State is the number one objective of the emerging Kerala initiative,'' he said.
Mr. Chandy claimed that his Government had worked out a proactive industrial and commercial policy for the State. It was intended to transform Kerala into a vibrant entrepreneurial society with faster and inclusive growth. “It also aims to promote Kerala as a prime destination for industrial investment, by ensuring environmental protection,'' he added.
Kerala had identified core sectors for a sustainable eco-friendly development. “We have also worked out a fair and equitable labour policy and a single window clearance mechanism for investment decisions. These policy initiatives are targeting to create an investor-friendly environment for the long-term economic growth of the State,'' he said.
State Industries Minister Kunhalikutty said Kerala had already demonstrated its strength in various areas, including IT and IT enabled services, tourism and healthcare. “Ours is a green State and we are taking special efforts to encourage eco-friendly industries,'' he said.
Kerala was developing a National Manufacturing and Investment Zone in the Kochi-Palakkad region, covering four districts, he said.
“From 2004-05 to 2010-11, Kerala has achieved 9.57 per cent combined average growth rate in the manufacturing sector and the State has been doing remarkably well in the services sector. Kerala is aiming to get a minimum 5 per cent of the total IT business of the country. It is proposed to create a built-up space of over 60 million sq. ft. for new IT units in the State,'' the Minister added.
Among others, diplomats from the U.S., the U.K., France, Canada, Germany, Russia, Belgium, and China, and representatives of Petronet, SAIL, and Fortis and Medicity hospitals attended.
Besides, officials of the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, the Japan External Trade Organisation, the Indo-Canadian Business Chamber, the U.S.-India Business Council, the UN Women, and the UNESCO were there.
Minister of State for External Affairs E. Ahamed welcomed the foreign investors not only as tourists to savour Kerala's beauty, but also as businessmen and entrepreneurs with their business plans. He released a handbook, ‘Doing business in Kerala — a guide to investors.'
This article has been corrected for a spelling error