In its efforts to make Kerala a Soft Power hub, the government has proposed to introduce some upfront initiatives for promoting Kerala as a preferred venue for global conferences, said PA Mohamed Riyas, Tourism Minister.

Kerala has immense opportunities in this segment given its picturesque landscape, eclectic history and rich cultural heritage, he said.

The Minister was speaking after inaugurating the two-day annual conference of the Soft Power Club, a leading global organisation headed by Francesco Rutelli, the former Deputy Prime Minister of Italy, at Technopark here.

The beautiful locales including hill stations, beaches and backwater destinations in various parts make it the most ideal location for international meets. The soft power at our disposal -- tourism -- is the most potent component and it has to be harnessed in a sustainable manner, he said.

Over the centuries, the State has leveraged soft power in its evolution as an inclusive society and social and communal harmony reinforces its position as a soft power hub, the Minister said.

G20 Sherpa Amitabh Kant, who made a presentation on India, said the country blends both its soft and hard powers to project itself and to ensure that the nation retains its very unique civilizational approach.

Introducing the Soft Power Club, Francesco Rutelli stressed the need for promoting the value of international cooperation on strategic issues in the difficult times.

He said building resilient stories of soft power involves inculcating resilient values, driving it through policy, recognising the role of social media as a soft power tool and bringing the subject into public discourse.

Highlighting that soft power is tool for reputation, international competitiveness and economic growth formations, Rutelli said that the Soft Power Club meet will discuss the persisting and potential role of trade in the changing international landscape.

“India’s soft power is on global level and fascinating as well. Kerala as a venue for this event would be a splendid opportunity to understand, promote and showcase the country’s positive assets,” he said.

“Kerala’s promotion of eco-friendly tourism and its initiatives committed to environmental sustainability enhance its soft power. State’s progressive social development and humanitarian initiatives have garnered global acclaim and contributed to its soft power of social development,” Shri Biju added.  

Ambassador of Italy to India Vincenzo De Luca read out a message from Italian President Sergio Mattarella on the occasion.