The Kerala government is all set to roll out the red carpet for industry leaders and investors as ASCEND 2019 gets underway here on Monday to showcase a series of industry-friendly initiatives that would make the state a front-ranking investment destination and empower entrepreneurs to launch their enterprises in a speedy and hassle-free manner.
Billed as a premier business event, the day-long meet at Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Centre will display the landmark administrative and policy reforms that have considerably improved Ease of Doing Business in Kerala and raised its profile among both industry leaders and young entrepreneurs for setting up their shops.
Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will kickstart the proceedings at 9.50 am by releasing the ‘Invest Kerala Guide’ – a compendium of administrative and policy reforms — at the inaugural session of the event. It will be a ready reckoner on the immense business opportunities in the state and simplified procedures and protocol in making investment.
Union Minister of Commerce & Industries and Civil Aviation Suresh Prabhu will be the chief guest.
The objective behind the launch of ASCEND 2019 is to bring into sharp focus a governance that is simplified, efficient and transparent, and facilitates business and investments by clipping a plethora of irksome bureaucratic procedures. It is to be attended by Chief Ministers, Ministers from various States, Bureaucrats, Entrepreneurs, Investors, Policy Administrators and National and International Delegates.
Kerala, which ranks second in the Investment Climate Index, aims to build sustainable industrial infrastructure with an eco-friendly and sustainable model that helps in the production of long-term employment opportunities at globally acceptable wages.
Kerala Minister for Industries, Sports and Youth Affairs E P Jayarajan will launch the “Invest Kerala Portal”, which is designed to improve the investment ecosystem of the state and help entrepreneurs from India and abroad to set up a wide array of enterprises and conduct business in a congenial environment.
Minister for Local Self Governments A.C. Moideen will deliver a special address for a session titled “Operationalising Ease of Doing Business through LSGIs”. He will also launch IBPMS (Intelligent Building Plan Management System).
The event will have plenary addresses, panel discussions, break-out sessions and presentations on some of the best practices under the ease of doing business initiatives.
In a determined bid to inject transparency to facilitate setting up of enterprises by entrepreneurs from India and abroad, the state government has developed K-SWIFT (Kerala Single Window Interface for Fast, Transparent Clearances), Common Application Form (CAF) and IBPMS. KSWIFT, an online clearance mechanism, has been developed to simplify and speed up issuance of clearances from Departments / Agencies for launching enterprises in the state. These cutting-edge software applications will be on display at the conclave.
Tom Jose, Chief Secretary, Govt. of Kerala, will welcome the gathering while Dr K Ellangovan, Principal Secretary, Industries, Commerce & NORKA, will give a presentation on ‘ASCEND Kerala 2019’. Sandip Somani, President, FICCI, and R. Dinesh, Chairman, CII-Southern Region, are among the industry honchos to be present at the inaugural session.
The conference will have presentations and panel discussions which are to be attended by the leading lights from industry and businesses. V.K. Ramachandran, Vice Chairman, Kerala State Planning Board, will chair a plenary, while Dr Shekhar Shah, Director General, National Council for Applied Economic Research; Dushyant Thakur, Vice President, Invest India; Aardra Chandramouli, CEO, Aeka Biochemicals Pvt Ltd; and Sandith Thandasherry, CEO, NavAlt Solar and Electric Boats Pvt. Ltd, will talk on various topics.
A session on “Ease of Doing Business-sharing of best practices” will be chaired by Shailendra Singh, Addl. Secretary, DIPP, and it will be attended, among others, by Devender Singh, Addl. Chief Secretary (Industries), Haryana; and Jayesh Ranjan, Principal Secretary (Industries), Telangana.
Christy Fernandez, Chairman, KSIDC, will lead another plenary on “Opportunities in the MSME and Food Processing Sectors” while Dr K Ellangovan, will chair the session on “Kerala-Enabling a Congenial Industrial Ecosystem” in which K. Biju, Director, Directorate of Industries and Commerce, Kerala, will give a presentation.
He will also launch IBPMS. Dr Sharmila Mary Joseph, Secretary, Industries, and Managing Director, KSIDC will also attend the session.