: The Assocham on Saturday supported the view of Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan that the Gujarat model of development cannot be replicated in the State.

Talking to reporters here, Assocham Secretary-General D.S. Rawat said both Gujarat and Kerala had different strengths.

Kerala should not be following the Gujarat model of development through real estate. Kerala should focus on in its own strengths - ayurveda, tourism, IT, BT, he said.

Pointing that the bureaucracy in Gujarat has become investor friendly, he said infrastructure had expanded a lot and international investors were keen to invest in Gujarat. With a large English-speaking population in Kerala, and low rentals, Kerala can become an IT destination as saturation has set in Bangalore, he said. The rent available in Kerala is 50 per cent lesser than in Bangalore. Medical tourism is also one area which Kerala can tap in, he said.

Gujarat is a land surplus State, it has been very successful in attracting investments. But Kerala has limited land and has high potential to develop clusters in small scale industries, he said.

Mr. Achuthanandan on Friday said Gujarat model of development would not be replicated in the State as it involved bequeathing soil, water and real estate to business interests.

Mr. Rawat said it was not correct to say that Gujarat was getting maximum investments in real estate. The State was drawing the maximum investors in energy and service sectors, he said.

Mr. Rawat said he had recently met Gujarat Chief Minsiter Narendra Modi for developing 36 minor ports.

— PTI

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