KOCHI: If ‘Made in Kerala’ products are popular anywhere outside Kerala, it would definitely be in the Gulf region. But, Ras Al Khaimah or RAK, one of the seven emirates which make up the United Arab Emirates, with a significant population comprising Malayali expatriates, is an odd exception. Despite the potential, there is not much of a presence for brands from Kerala in the emirates.
Abdullah Rashid Al Mansoori, chairman of Global Management & Organiser Exhibitions, is determined to change this. Mansoori, was in Kochi for two days, convincing companies from Kerala to push their brands in Ras Al Khaimah, and set up their facilities, factories and warehouses at the Ras Al Khaimah Economic Zone (RAKEZ). “RAKEZ has offered 20 to 50 per cent discount for companies coming to the zone, including setting up warehouse, office, real estate and healthcare. Ras Al Khaimah will also give unlimited visas for workers of companies from Kerala,” he said.
Ashwin Khanna, sales team leader at RAKEZ India, flew down to Kochi the other day to interact with potential businesses, and invite them to invest in the economic zone.Ras Al Khaimah is now focusing on building a competitively stronger economy. Being a logistic hub with seaports, international airport and multi-lane superhighways, companies can easily access the trade flows between the east and the west.
Mansoori said RAK is one of the fastest growing economies in the UAE with the presence of large industries, strong support from the government departments and modern and developed road network, cost-effective company set-up and resident population with high spending potential.
RAK is hosting a five-day exhibition titled ‘Made in Kerala-2019’ from April 9 to 13. “Even though we offer a discount of 20 to 50 per cent, we are confident that within five years, these companies will bring the capital back,” Mansoori said.
Made in Kerala 2019 is targeted to promote the various brands of Kerala in the UAE, to avail Kerala’s businesses a platform to explore new opportunities, to exhibit the growing potential Kerala and to encourage Foreign Direct Investment and to promote sectors in Kerala which have the strong market potential. Hence, the product sectors on focus at the Expo would include health and wellness, education, travel and tourism, finance and investment, home and living, fashion and food products.
While Kerala-based companies in Ayurveda, tourism, organic food and handmade products offer immense scope for the RAK market, Mansoori said there is also potential for Kerala to lure business from the emirate. “This exhibition can be used by Kerala tourism and other sectors to attract visitors/investors into Kerala,” he said. About 40 companies have already expressed interest to participate in the ‘Made in Kerala’ expo.