Kerala hopes to net IT, biotech investments

Tuesday, 27 May 2003, 07:00 Hrs
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: After tourism, cash-strapped Kerala is pinning its hopes on IT and biotechnology to pull in investments.

"So far we have commitments from Wipro, Tata Consultancy Services, HSBC and Microsoft. Tomorrow (Wednesday) the president of Satyam Computers is arriving for a round of discussion," state IT minister P.K. Kunjalikutty told reporters at a press conference Tuesday to mark two years in office.

The minister said the presence of such big names in Kerala would add to the state's credibility and convince others to also set up shop.

But Kunjalikutty said the job did not end with just bringing in the big companies. "We have to give them a conducive atmosphere to work and for that all political parties and the people of Kerala have to take the lead," he said.

"We have missed several buses of progress and we just cannot to afford the bus that is there now on account of the big names that have come," added the minister.

Kerala is also looking to attract investments in the business process outsourcing (BPO) line of IT-enabled services as it has an advantage over other states in terms of qualified manpower.

Another area the state is working to lure investments in is biotechnology. It has set up an expert Biotechnology Mission and is preparing a plan of action for the budding high-growth sector.

On January's Global Investment Meet in Kochi, Kunjalikutty said it had placed Kerala firmly on the investment map.

But despite the lofty statements on the eve of the meet and soon after it, so far only 780 million worth of projects have commenced while 10.8 billion worth are in the pipeline. Another 20 billion worth of projects is under consideration.

"Despite the small figures we have had made a huge impact," the IT minister claimed.

Source: IANS
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