Global business meet at Kochi in February

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM NOV. 1. The Industries Department is organising a two-day meet in Kochi in February 2004 to help the manufacturing sector in the State find business collaborators from other parts of the country and outside.

At a press conference here today, the Industries Minister, P. K. Kunhalikutty, said that contrary to the popular perception, the State had a vibrant manufacturing sector that contributed 20.7 per cent to the State Domestic Product.

Many products manufactured in the State, in fact, conformed to the highest standards and would have been warmly received by consumers outside the State, but for the poor marketing efforts. The small and medium-scale units, which had a big presence here, had a lot of resource constraints in marketing their products.

The Government's policy now was to play the role of a good facilitator for the industries here. The business meet being organised in Kochi aims at providing the manufacturing units in the State a platform to interact with buyers from outside and fix up business tie-ups, he said.

``We are expecting trade representatives from 14 countries for the meet, besides teams from embassies. Major trade organisations and top business people from other States too would participate in the event,'' Mr. Kunhalikutty said.

Mr. Kunhalikutty said the meet would also give the local units an opportunity to seek technological inputs from outside for upgrading their manufacturing processes.

"Our intention is to expand the horizon for our manufacturing sector, both in terms of technology and marketing,'' the Minister said. He sought to differentiate between the objectives of the Global Investor Meet (GIM) held in Kochi earlier this year and the present initiative. The GIM was to seek fresh investments into the State, while the focus of the business meet was to strengthen the existing manufacturing sector. "This meet will be quite businesslike and not a mega event like the GIM,'' he said. BMW team to visit State

Mr. Kunhalikutty said a team of top officials from the German automobile major, BMW, would be in Kerala from November 14 to 16 to examine the feasibility of setting up its manufacturing unit here. He said he had talks with the top people at AUDI, another major automobile company in Germany.

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