KOCHI: Kerala needs investment to the tune of Rs 1 lakh crore in the next 5-6 years if we don't want to miss the development bus, said Finance Minister Thomas Isaac.
Though we have achieved universal education, we need to make a huge investment in infrastructure development and in the higher education sector, he said while inaugurating the Kerala Management Association’s (KMA) annual national management convention at Hotel Le Méridien here on Thursday.
"We need to improve our infrastructure facilities to woo investors. We should lay better roads and provide infrastructure facilities for industrial parks. To tap the potential knowledge-based industries market, we have to establish world-class higher education centres. We have provided `200 crore for Cusat to establish laboratories and we need more such facilities," he said.
Calling upon the management associations to tap the potential investment opportunities, he said the proposed petrochemical park and the expansion of titanium mineral unit offer big investment potential.
"You can link investment projects with infrastructure facilities and partner with the government in skill development for the emerging industries," the minister said.
"Though Kerala has not been a manufacturing hub we have a very strong SME sector which is growing. The state's achievements in the healthcare, education and housing sectors are commendable, but we need big investment to sustain our development on the welfare front. We have to think how the state and the entrepreneurial sector can cooperate to create wealth. We have to identify areas of core competencies. We should concentrate on knowledge and service-based industries, value addition of agricultural products and promote startups for industrial growth," he said.
The minister said the world is passing through a phase in which the industrial sector is witnessing fundamental changes. Innovation in the fields of information technology, biotechnology and material science is rapidly changing the world. It is finance that rules the economy. We should also see the social consequences of this change. With globalisation, there is an unprecedented growth in inequality. Innovations in technology will have serious consequences. The role of the social leadership in this hour of transformation is crucial, he said.
All India Management Association (AIMA) president T V Mohandas Pai said the rise of the internet has made the world a big single market and brought down barriers. Sectors like oil, energy, automobiles, manufacturing, life sciences industry, financial services and education are witnessing drastic changes, he said.
AIMA secretary-general Rekha Sethi, KMA president Vivek Krishna Govind and secretary R Madhav Chandran spoke on the occasion. Founder of Infinitheism Mahatria Ra led a special transformational session. In the plenary session state IT Secretary M Sivasankar, Nokia India managing director Ajey Mehta and KPMG Global director Richard Rekhy spoke. The summit will conclude on Friday.