Kerala to cash in on COVID ‘goodwill’, invites investments from across the world

CM promises business licences in 7 days

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The God’s Own Country is slowly earning the status of the ‘Safest Region on Earth’! At least, that’s what the whole world is talking and writing about Kerala now, thanks to Kerala’s meaningful efforts in containing COVID 19 so far.

And the state government is all set to cash in on the newly gained reputation during the COVID 19 period by spreading Red Carpet to investors and entrepreneurs from the world over to a state, which is high in literacy and enjoys one of the highest IT literacy in the world.

While doing his press briefing on Monday- which has become a regular fix for many in the state and even outside, the chief minister Pinarayi Vijayan announced that any serious investor can obtain a business licence within seven days, in a clear departure from the tag the state has been wearing on so far.

Kerala is now flaunting its COVID 19 management record gained through the meticulous care and caution it has been practising through the period to keep the spread of virus on check and by reining in the fatalities to single digit all this time.

This is despite the fact that the first COVID 19 patient was identified in Kerala and more relevantly, this is the very state that had the largest number of COVID cases in the country at the outset.

Big preparations are afoot behind the scene to project Kerala as a truly business craving state. A committee is being set up with chief secretary of the state as the chairman to promote industrial investments on a war-footing.

The committee will have representations from the bilateral industrial bodies based in Kerala such as Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO), Indo Japan Chamber of Commerce, Korea Importers Association, Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (Kotra), Korean Chamber of Commerce, Taiwan External Trade Development Council, etc.

The committee will also engage with Indo-American Chamber of Commerce, US-India Strategic Partnership Forum, US-India Business Council, Indo-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Indo-German Chamber of Commerce, Singapore Enterprise Association, etc going forward.

The chief minister said the industrial climate has gone through drastic changes in the past couple of years.  The public sector companies that had been synonymous with poor performance have started shedding that tag for good.

Sharing numbers on the performance of government undertakings in Kerala, Pinarayi Vijayan said the Rs131 crore combined losses of the state PSUs in the immediate prior period of his government thinned thereafter, and in the first year of LDF Government, it came down to Rs71 crore.

In the ensuing years, the state PSUs posted profits of Rs5 crore, Rs8 crore and Rs56 crore respectively. The CM said the investment climate in Kerala is now far better than many other states though an opposite view still persists in certain corners.

He said more and more public undertakings are entering the list of profit making enterprises. Kerala is fast emerging as an investor friendly state with business-friendly laws & regulations and favourable investment climate.

“We have been able to establish good industrial infrastructure in the state; Kochi-Coimbatore industrial corridor is going to have a big role to play in the industrial growth in the state. We are going to have industrial parks in all districts soon,” the CM explained further.

 

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