Kochi: Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on Wednesday said the staging of the "Emerging Kerala-2012" investment meet here will help in building a favourable climate of entrepreneurship and make the state a powerhouse of sustained economic and social development.
"This is not just a one off event, but a beginning to bring all sections of the society every two years to explore ways and means to make Kerala a power house. This will result in opening up the aspirations of the people and will also help in increasing exports besides improve the local production," Manmohan Singh said.
He added that in many ways Kerala is unique among Indian states. Its social and human development indicators are at par with many developed countries. It has abundant natural resources. Its human resources are of a very high quality.
"These strengths, along with the chief minister`s commitment to give a clean, transparent and effective administration to the people, should be leveraged and leveraged optimally to attract investment into the state.”
"I am sure that initiatives like the present one would help in building a climate favourable to entrepreneurship in this process," said Singh.
He also said the central government is committed to helping and adding to the initiatives of the state government for building an improved industrial infrastructure in the state.
"The terminal at Vallarpadam has been planned to make Kochi one of the major trans-shipment points of the world, transforming it into an economic and logistical hub. There were some issues relating to the operationalisation of this terminal on account of cabotage and customs operations. These issues have now been resolved. The Union Cabinet has recently decided to relax the cabotage restrictions particularly for Vallarpadam," said Singh.
He said he wished the state to embark on a path of people-focused inclusive and sustainable development, driven by knowledge and innovation, and mindful of the environmental concerns.
"Labour intensive light manufacturing has a strong comparative advantage in this State and all assistance needs to be given to the small and micro business enterprises.”
"I would urge the state government to derive maximum possible benefit from initiatives of the Central Government especially the National Skill Development Mission. This would go a long way in tapping the energies of Kerala`s educated manpower," added Singh.
He also described non-resident Keralites (NRKs) as the backbone of the state`s economy.
"More than two million NRKs work in the Middle East and elsewhere and they contribute to the state economy more than 22 percent of the gross domestic product of the state and is the backbone of the state economy," said Singh.
"I am happy to note that today these NRKs have now turned as investors in the state by investing in projects and this has helped to create sound physical infrastructure in the state," he said.
The three-day event is being attended by 2,500 delegates from 51 countries. They include ambassadors, high commissioners, ministers and 300 top executives from all major companies in the country.