Singapore-based NRI invests Rs 160 million in Kerala

Friday, 20 September 2002, 07:00 Hrs
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THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: A Singapore-based non-resident Indian entrepreneur is to invest 160 million in an IT-enabled services (ITES) company and a biotechnology venture in Kerala's commercial hub Kochi.

V. Ramaswamy, chief of Singapore research and development company Elbitech Innovations Ltd., signed a memorandum of understanding with the Kerala government for the projects that are to come up in three months.

The ITES company to be built with an investment of 70 million would be called Global Infologistics and would employ 1,000 people to begin with. The firm is expected to take possession of 10,000 square-foot of office space at the KINFRA Export Promotion Industrial Park at Kakkanad in Kochi.

The biotechnology venture, called Agri Bionutrients Ltd. and expected to cost 90 million, would produce 20,000 litres of liquid organic fertiliser per day at the KINFRA Biotechnology Park in Kalamassery, Kochi. The company would employ 120 people.

Ramaswamy said he opted to invest in Kerala's commercial hub rather than his native state of Tamil Nadu because Kochi offers the best connectivity.

"The IT company would be doing back-office processing for bankers' cheques for an American bank and in due course the total number of jobs could go up to 3,000," Ramaswamy told reporters here.

Agri Bionutrients, he said, would use urea, ammonium phosphate, potassium sulphate, molasses, sea extracts and some herbs found extensively in Kerala as raw material for the organic fertiliser, which would be sold within the country and also exported.

"We are collaborating with the Florida-based United Agricultural Services company," said Ramaswamy.

State Industries Minister P.K. Kunjalikutty said the new ventures were a sign that the perception of Kerala not being a safe investment destination was finally fading. The state has for many years been notorious for militant labour.

"These developments are definitely a great boost to the Global Investors' Meet," the minister said, referring to the convention scheduled in Kochi in January to attract investment in the cash-starved state.

Source: IANS
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