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Kochi, Dec. 2

THE Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry (Assocham) has decided to work with the southern States to attract fresh investments in food processing, health and medical tourism, IT, biotechnology, BPO, agriculture specially plantation and infrastructure sector.

Mr Anil K. Agarwal, Assocham President, told a press meet here on Friday that the Chamber had already signed MoUs with its counterparts in Italy and France to develop food processing zones and integrated infrastructure to facilitate their investments in all parts of the country.

The plan is to set up agro industrial food-processing parks in 100 acres of land in selected States with an investment of $100 million. Punjab has been selected as the first State for the venture and Kerala could be the second one, he said.

The Assocham President called upon the Kerala Government to evolve policies for spurring up domestic and overseas investment through investment friendly policies so that it can take advantages of future overseas investments, which might come in huge volumes, particularly from countries such as France and Italy.

Being richly endowed with natural resources and scenic beauty, Kerala could attract huge investments but it has so far remained below potential, he said.

Kerala, being the knowledge State of the country, has the ability to encourage IT sector, biotechnology and nano-technology in view of its rich human capital. Assocham also plans to develop real estate in the State, Mr Agarwal said.

The southern States, he said, are poised to acquire economic potential for attracting higher investments from domestic and overseas industries as against the northern part of the country and therefore will become a role model to be emulated by other States.

(This article was published in the Business Line print edition dated December 3, 2005)
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