labels: trade, investments
Kerala all set to make Global Investors’ Meet a grand success news
Jays Jacob
31 December 2002

Kochi: Preparations are on full swing for the proposed Global Investors’ Meet (GIM) scheduled for 18 and 19 January 2003. More than 100 projects will be presented in the meet to attract foreign investors. Project profiles covering the core competent sectors of Kerala are under various stages of finalisation.

PricewaterhouseCoopers, the consultants for GIM, have been interacting with the various state government departments for short-listing viable projects under each department and preparing project profiles.

A series of discussions have already been undertaken with the departments, based on which a set of more than 100 project ideas have been short-listed. A set of 50 select project profiles is under various stages of completion. A final round of discussions with all concerned departments is proposed, before finalising the project ideas and profiles.

The first set of 13 major projects under development that are being considered for GIM and the various clearances and issues that need to be addressed in each case or sector were also placed before the Kerala State Single Window Clearance Board (KSSWCB) in the fourth meeting.

The board has authorised the managing director of Kerala State Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) as the convenor of KSSWCB to hold separate meetings of the concerned officials with regard to each project and sector.

A few major projects for which memorandums of understanding (MoU) have been entered into recently include: the international resort complex at Nedumbassery, with M N Satish, managing director, Bamco Group of Companies, Bahrain, for an estimated capital cost of Rs 33 crore; International Residential School in Thiruvananthapuram, at an estimated capital cost of Rs 20 crore with George M Thomas, managing director, Saif Harassi Group of Companies, Oman; Heritage Village in Kerala with Sasidharan G Nair, Texas, USA; and a tourist resort in Kerala with Chandu Patel of California, US.

GIM is being preceded by road shows within India and abroad, especially the US, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia. The first of such road shows were held in the US from 3 to 16 July 2002. Kerala Minister for Industries, Social Welfare and IT P K Kunhalikutty and Minister for Non-resident Keralite Affairs M M Hassan led the delegation to the US. The delegation included top government officials as well.

The delegation covered major US cities like Chicago, San Jose, Washington and New York. A series of meetings with various political leaders, investors, corporates and industry associations was arranged in these places, which were followed by one-to-one interactive sessions.

Among the major companies the delegation called on were Rolls Royce, Hewlett Packard, IBM, British Telecom, Cognizent Technologies and Agilent Technologies. Rolls Royce has expressed interest for setting up an aircraft maintenance facility at Nedumbassery airport and British Telecom for setting up telecommunication networks. The others were interested in the IT sector, say sources.

The other areas where investors and corporate groups have indicated interest are tourism, food processing, textiles, real estate and infrastructure projects. The high-level delegation that visited Europe in August 2002 for participating in Samavayam 2002 has utilised the opportunity to interact with prospective investors in Europe, in the context of GIM.

Mohamed Salahuddin Consulting Engineering Bureau (MSCEB), a world-renowned consulting firm based in Bahrain, will aid Kerala in the initiatives to mobilise investments. An MoU was signed in this regard between Mohamed Salahuddin, the managing director of the company, and Jiji Thomson, managing director, KSIDC, in the presence of John Mathai, principal secretary (industries), Kerala government, and senior MSCEB officials. MSCEB will play a pivotal role in channelling foreign direct investments from the kingdoms of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Bahrain for specific projects identified by KSIDC.

Mathai and Thomson, who were in Bahrain as part of the road shows on GIM, held wide-ranging discussions with key businessmen and non-resident Keralites in the region. Later, the team visited Shaikh Ebrahim bin Hamad al-Khalifa, a senior member of the ruling family of the Kingdom of Bahrain, and briefed him on the opportunities for investment in Kerala.

KSIDC sources confirm that preliminary steps are being initiated towards setting up a test laboratory and an air-conditioner manufacturing facility, thanks to the negotiations by the delegation to Bahrain.

A group of companies from South Korea is pondering over relocation of their businesses to Kerala. Plans are also on the anvil to set up a ship-repairing unit as well as an international college of IT in the state with Korean participation. Announcing this, Park Chan Dong, the CEO of Sigma Group of Companies, who is also the secretary-general of the Korean Federation of Small and Medium Business, stated that the finer aspects of the proposals will be declared during GIM.

Dong, who was on a visit to Kerala recently, said a ‘Korean village’ will be established in the state where Korean companies from 15 different industries will establish their manufacturing base. It is expected that the proposals will result in a total investment of Rs 1,000 million in the state in a phased manner.


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Kerala all set to make Global Investors’ Meet a grand success