The Kerala government has received investment intentions to the tune of around Rs 1 trillion during the ASCEND 2020 Global Investors Meet. The largest commitment was by Abu Dhabi Investment Authority, which committed around 66 per cent of the total investment.
Speaking at the meet, which was concluded on Friday, Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan said that of the amount, Rs 98,708 crore comes in as direct promise during the two days of ASCEND, while there are “a couple of entrepreneurs whom we happened to miss” at the event but have expressed their willingness to invest.
Overall, the state has received 164 investment proposals. Across the sessions at ASCEND 2020 came in promises worth Rs 32,008 crore and towards the end, the Kerala Infrastructure Management Ltd vowed Rs 8,110 crore, while the Abu Dhabi Investment Authority promised investments of Rs 66,900 crore.
DP World will be investing around Rs 500 crore for a logistic park.
The government plans to meet the prospective investors individually. A team led by Principal Secretary (Industries) Dr K Ellangovan has been entrusted with this task, said the Chief Minister.
The government will seriously consider complaints against top officers who are indifferent or negative in their response to industrial investments, A meeting will be convened to sort out the matter by facilitating interaction between top bureaucrats and representatives of the investors. There would not be any intermediaries between prospective entrepreneurs looking for investment in Kerala and the authorities.
“One can apply directly at several levels starting from the village office to the CMO,” he added. Noting that the government will accord priority to completing the projects proposed in ASCEND 2020, he emphasised the need for skilled labour across sectors. The government is in talks with various universities to improve the standards of Kerala’s courses in skills, he added. Special consideration will be given to the investment proposals from MSMEs at the ASCEND, though it will stay away from projects with negative ecological impact.
The government has convened a meeting on January 21 of local administration presidents and secretaries. The session had saw 100-odd projects, ratified by KPMG as viable, presented across sectors such as petrochemicals, agro and food-processing, defence, life sciences, aeropolis, tourism and hospitality, ports and harbour, fisheries, infrastructure, mobility development, logistics and electronic hardware.