Kerala woos prospective investors from Karnataka

July 20th, 2012 - 9:14 pm ICT by IANS  

Bangalore, July 20 (IANS) The Kerala government is wooing captains of industry in Karnataka to make the coastal state a preferred investment destination.

“We are willing to go the extra mile to make our state a preferred destination for prospective investors from Karnataka and other states through policy initiatives and infrastructure support,” a senior Kerala official said here Friday.

Outlining policy measures to attract investments in his state at a road show for the ‘Emerging Kerala 2012 Global Connect’ trade event to be held at Kochi Sep 12-14, state planning board vice-chairman and former cabinet secretary K.M. Chandrasekhar said procedures would be simplified for speedy clearances of investment proposals.

“We want investors to tell us where things can go wrong and delays can occur so that we can correct the procedures and prepare better for the investment summit,” Chandrasekhar told representatives of the industry across verticals in manufacturing and services.

The state is focusing on building infrastructure, including power and highways through public private participation (PPP), industry clusters for manufacturing units in large, medium and small-scale segments, knowledge industry for IT services and products, electronics, agro-processing and skill development.

“We are, however, committed to ensure that development would be sustainable and environment-friendly, as we are proud of our unique ecology and will preserve it at any cost,” Chandrasekhar asserted.

Kerala Additional Chief Secretary V. Somasundaran said a cabinet sub-committee had been set up to approve fast-track projects within 90 days of applying for early implementation and job creation.

“We also have an online single-window agency for entrepreneurs and companies to secure faster clearances in a transparent manner,” he noted.

Clarifying that the upcoming event would not be one-off or an agreements’ signing exercise, Chandrasekhar said the three-day summit would showcase the state for cross-fertilisation of ideas and business-to-business (B2B) relations.

“We want the summit to be business-led, convince industrialists and entrepreneurs to stay invested and become partners in the all-round development of the state,” Chandrasekhar observed.

For attracting investments in the knowledge sector, technology parks are being set up across the state with plug-and-play facilities, two overseas cable landings, data connectivity, low operational costs and a talent pool of young professionals.

Kerala State Council for Science, Technology and Environment vice-president V.N. Rajasekharan Pillai said the state government would invite collaboration in water purification technology and in traditional sectors such as coir, cashew and handloom for value addition through research and development in natural plant products.

“We want pharma firms to identify unique molecules through isolation and purification of these medicinal plants. Such efforts will lead to global-level breakthroughs, at the same time fostering a non-polluting, eco-friendly industry,” he said

A cross-section of industry and business leaders and representatives of trade commissions in this tech hub participated in the day-long road show.

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