Karnataka captured almost 40% of the total foreign direct investments (FDIs) received by India during fiscal 2021-22. This year again, the State is set to garner a similar share of FDI and has been growing as an attractive destination in the country. The 2022 edition of its global investment exposition, Global Investors’ Meet (GIM), set to be inaugurated on November 2, will only accelerate the flow of investments to the State, said Murugesh Nirani, Minister, Large and Medium Industries, in an interaction with The Hindu. Here are edited excerpts from the interview:
Has the industrial climate of Karnataka fully recovered to pre-covid levels yet?
Yes, definitely. Karnataka has completely recovered. The State continues to remain numero uno in attracting FDIs and it captured FDIs to the tune of ₹ 1.76 lakh crore ($22.1 billion), 38% share of total FDIs received in India from April 2021 to March 2022. This, despite the challenging pandemic situation.
We have signed historic MoUs post-pandemic. This includes renewable energy player ACME Group’s ₹52,000 crore investment, ISMC Analog Fab committed an investment of ₹22,900 crore for a Semiconductor Fab Plant, Toyota signed for a ₹5,000 crore investment in manufacturing of auto parts, Exide Industries has entered into an agreement to invest ₹6,000 crore in lithium-ion cell production. Petronas is expected to invest ₹31,200 crore to set up a Green Hydrogen & Ammonia project and Continental India plans a ₹1,000 crore investment to increase its R&D footprint in the State.
All these new industrial projects are expected to create over 2 lakh new jobs, which will in turn boost consumer confidence and market sentiments and favourably impact the State’s economy.
You are expecting this edition of GIM to bring in over ₹ 5 lakh crore in investment and 5 lakh jobs. How will it boost the state economy?
Yes we are expecting over ₹5 lakh crore in investments and the creation of 5 lakh jobs through the GIM. Our aim is not only to get investments but to bring industry giants under one platform. Karnataka is already a brand established in the global supply chain. We want other people to also be aware that Karnataka provides a very viable option in the world supply chain. The State can become more potent and we are also looking at forging partnerships with various business houses.
How far has the government succeeded in taking businesses beyond Bangalore?
Our ‘Beyond Bengaluru’ initiatives are aimed at promoting industries across the State, especially in backward regions in north Karnataka. In order to avoid the concentration of industries in the State capital, the government is planning to expand them to Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as well. The idea is to create an industrial ecosystem beyond Bengaluru and also create jobs locally across the State. We are providing lucrative incentives to investors in order to promote Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. The New Industrial Policy 2020-25 aims for the holistic development of the State and grow Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities as new engines of economic growth. To facilitate expansions beyond Bengaluru, we are also planning new airports in Tier 2-3 cities.
A slew of green energy projects was announced recently in Mangaluru. The semiconductor manufacturing industry in Mysuru and Tumakuru, the toy industries in Koppal, textile and jewellery manufacturing in Kalburgi, and foundry industries in Belagavi, and so on will spur industrial growth and create huge job opportunities in this region.