VIJAYAWADA: Highlighting the infrastructure and other facilities in Andhra Pradesh, Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath Reddy has called upon a high-level delegation from Mouvement des entreprises de France (MEDEF), the largest employer federation in France, to invest in the State.
The delegation comprising 13 members from the MEDEF reached the State on Wednesday on a two-day visit to explore the investment opportunities in AP in the areas of power generation, building materials, smart cities, urban development (including electric mobility), automobiles, agribusiness and development of MSME parks.
Delivering his inaugural address at the ministerial and business round table conference with the delegation, Rajendranath said that the government was making every effort for the development of the State by optimum utilisation of logistics, industries and special economic zones.
“The State government has been implementing Navaratnalu — the nine welfare schemes covering farmers, women, medical, health, education-- and accorded top priority to it by increasing budgetary allocation for education (15.7 per cent), skill development and health (5.5 per cent) during the current fiscal,’’ the minister informed.
The minister maintained that agriculture, food processing, dairy, electricity, aquaculture, mining, tourism, infrastructure and automobile sectors have ample opportunities for investment in the State.
“Necessary steps are being taken to provide adequate land, water, electricity and other infrastructure facilities for setting up units in the State. Apart from that, 60 per cent of the population are in working age group and the majority of them are engineering graduates and equipped with a variety of skills,” he asserted.
“At present, the State economy stood at $135 billion and we have set a target to achieve $850 billion by 2034. Plans are also under consideration to develop MSMEs and provide a fillip to semi-urban centres as the State has infrastructure synergies, the excellent local population who are adaptive, friendly and work for the development of the State. A task force with members from Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board (APEDB) and MEDEF will be formed to explore opportunities for partnership between Andhra Pradesh and France,” the minister announced.
Guy Sidos, chairman and CEO, VICAT Building Materials, who led the 39-member delegation, said that France was an important partner to AP.
CII vice-chairman D Ramakrishna said, “Andhra Pradesh is improving the competitiveness of the industry and networking with strategic partners such as France to bring best practices to the State.”
Minister of Agriculture Kurasula Kanna Babu welcomed investments in agriculture, food processing, cold chains and warehousing, the thrust areas of the government.
Chief Secretary LV Subramanyam said, “The delegation has come with interest to invest in energy conservation, food processing and various infrastructure projects. The delegation was impressed with the infrastructure facilities and manpower and expressed its interest to make AP its preferred destination in India. They also agreed to set up a joint task force.”