When the Kerala Government is planning for the mega event, Emerging Kerala - 2012, to attract investors to the state, the industrialists are hopeful of improving the infrastructure along with the new ventures.
The infrastructure highlighted at the road shows, organised by the government, are three existing airports and Vallarpadam container terminal. All the other projects announced much earlier and did not take off, which include the Vizhinjam transshipment terminal and Naval Academy coming up at Beypore, would be major attractions for the investors. The proposed airport at Aranmula will be another attraction.
Chief Minister Oommen Chandy had already made it clear that the state would be developing a large number of micro and small enterprises rather than going for large industrial projects. More facilities are promised once the investors start their projects in Kerala.
Kerala Chamber of Commerce and Industry chairman K M Marzook said that all the earlier events to attract investments failed as the state lacked basic facilities. The outdated laws in Kerala are among the major hindrances which prevent the entrepreneurs from making an attempt to invest here, he said.
He said that the Chamber had taken the initiative to conduct Focus Kerala World Investors’ Meet in 2009 and it turned out to be a fiasco. Around 370 investors from around the globe attended the meet and MoUs to the tune of Rs 3,983 crore was signed.
‘’Hardly 10 projects took off as the formalities for starting an industry were not smooth affairs, especially with the involvement of bureaucrats. Several projects to improve the infrastructure of Kerala, including Express Highway, were dropped half way through,’’ he said.
Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) chairman V K Mathews said that Emerging Kerala would define and redefine the contributions of Kerala. Kerala is probably much ahead in terms of political and social stability, he said.
‘’It is very clear that nobody can exploit the people of Kerala as they are socially conscious. Heavy industries are not planned in Kerala and small and micro enterprises can be established with the present infrastructure,’’ he said.
The infrastructure showcased in the meet will be human resources available here and the peaceful atmosphere prevailing in the state. Compared to other States, Kerala is much ahead in infrastructure, he added.
The Trivandrum Chamber of Commerce and Industry president C Chandramohanan said that though there were certain limitations in infrastructure, more facilities could be added according to the need.
When more industries come up, they can also take the initiative in developing basic facilities.
The industrial parks developed by Kinfra in several parts of the state already provide all the facilities for the entrepreneur. There are several models in Kerala, including the Technopark, which show that Kerala is best suited for industrialists, he added.