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Kerala team in U.S. to attract investments

By Sridhar Krishnaswami

Washington July 12. A high-profile team from Kerala, led by its Minister for Industries and Social Welfare, P.K. Kunhalikutty, is visiting the United States to showcase the potential of the State.

"It is high time the State followed the modern way," Mr. Kunhalikutty told presspersons at the Embassy of India here. The delegation, which includes the Minister for Non-Resident Keralite Affairs (NORKA), M.M. Hassan, visited New York, Chicago and the Silicon Valley and signed many memoranda of understanding for technology and investments. In Washington, the team had a meeting with the U.S.-India Business Council. "We are very serious about what we are doing," Mr. Kunhalikutty said, making the point that one of the objectives of the mission was to narrow the communication gap with members of the community here and increase awareness on what was available in Kerala.

Opportunities were available not only in manufacturing but also in the service, infrastructure and industry sectors. As a part of a new thinking by the Government, the policy review included labour reforms too. "We don't want anything in the way of investment flow. We won't allow the loss of production at any cost," he remarked during an interaction here. He stressed that there was a consensus in the State that there was nothing wrong in opening up, but in a democracy there were differences on how to go about this. "To reform Kerala with a human face" was the aim, remarked Mr. Hassan, pointing out that Kerala was one of the most socially-advanced States in India. The State Government had decided to attract investment for economic development by taking advantage of the globalisation and privatisation processes.

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