Kerala ministers woo US private companies

November 9th, 2008 - 10:29 pm ICT by IANS  

Thiruvananthapuram, Nov 9 (IANS) A two -member ministerial delegation from the Left Front-ruled state visited the US and met several leading private companies, the state government said in a release Sunday.The team consisting of Home and Tourism Minister Kodiyeri Balakrishnan and Minister for Industry Elamaram Kareem, besides senior officials from the two departments, visited the US since early this month.

The release issued here Sunday by the Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation said that the delegation visited the GE Healthcare’s manufacturing plant of incubators and other devices for infant care.

Nest Group of Kerala is a supplier and assembler for GE Healthcare, from its facility in Kochi.

SFO Technologies, a part of Nest Group and GE Healthcare, signed a cooperation agreement in the presence of the delegation. GE Healthcare is contemplating expansion in India.

The delegation visited the headquarters of Marriott Corporation, located in Bethesda, Maryland, and held discussions with senior officials of the company about their plans for India and especially Kerala.

“The company (Marriott) said that they are in the process of opening a large number of hotels in different categories across India, and that Kerala is high on their priority list,” the release said.

M/s.Opterna, a high tech company based in Washington DC, signed an MOU with Kerala government for setting up a manufacturing facility in Kerala.

The delegation also visited the manufacturing plant of EPV Solar in New Jersey.

EPV Solar is a manufacturer of photovoltaic panels. It is in the process of setting up a manufacturing plant at a special economic zone in Kalamassery near Kochi with an investment of Rs.40 billion.

The delegation also met leading Malayalee professionals, who expressed their desire to start a network of Malayalee professionals working in the US in modern technology areas such a nanotechnology and biotechnology so as to bring projects in these sectors to Kerala.

The team held a meeting with the Indian American Malayalee Chamber of Commerce in New York.

The opposition in the state, however, lashed out at the visiting Kerala delegation.

“We do not know why they are there at a time when the economic slowdown has hit the US the worst,” said P.P. Thankachen, convenor of the Congress-led United Democratic Front.

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