New Delhi | Pitching Kerala as an attractive business-friendly destination with robust fundamentals, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan called on businesses to invest in the coastal state and push its growth across various sectors, especially manufacturing and services.
“Kerala is ready for investments and open to business,” Vijayan told a Diplomats Meet on ‘Vyapar 2017′ organised by the Kerala government and Ficci here yesterday.
The state government’s Department of Industries and Commerce is organising Vyapar 2017, the sixth edition of Kerala B2B Meet, in Kochi from February 2 to 4 next year.
Unfolding an array of advantages and opportunities for business leaders before a high-profile gathering of foreign diplomats, the chief minister said the state’s galloping economy, industry-friendly laws, abundant power and skilled manpower have made Kerala an ideal business hub.
“Kerala has already demonstrated its economic heft in highly specialised sectors like tourism, healthcare, information technology and food processing, among others. We have a clear agenda for development, a knowledge-based economy and highly-skilled manpower. These are all incentives for businesses to invest in the state,” he added.
“Vyapar 2017 will showcase Kerala’s business potential and manufacturing competence to the trading and outsourcing community in India and elsewhere. It will enhance the competitiveness of SMEs (small and medium enterprises) in Kerala and provide a platform for marketing their competencies.”
Talking of the robustness of Kerala’s SMEs, he said a wide variety of segments ranging from handlooms and textiles to Ayurveda therapies, herbal medications and traditional handicrafts fall into this sector with a potential to generate employment and economic growth.
The B2B meet will boost branding of Kerala’s native products, improve their marketability and mobility in the global market and give the state’s manufacturing sector access to large markets outside its borders, he noted.
Ambassadors, high commissioners and members of the diplomatic corps of around 30 countries, including Japan, Russia, the UAE, Poland, Malaysia, Turkey and South Korea, attended the meet.
Delivering the keynote address, Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant said: “Kerala offers a unique model of sustainable development. Its high quality of physical life surpasses even many countries of Europe. The state has invested heavily in education and health; its urban growth rate is 6.49 per cent compared with the national average of 4.04 per cent.”
He also reeled off factors such as the state’s IT parks, connectivity with India and the outside world through rail, roads and airports, startups, complete broadband connectivity, India’s first defence park, strong diaspora, tourism, strong leadership that make Kerala “a sound business proposition”.