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Boosting Ease of Doing Business: Kerala CM to Open ASCEND 2020 on Thursday

In Business
January 07, 2020


Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will inaugurate a two-day ASCEND 2020 Global Investors Meet here on Thursday, giving momentum to a series of policies and procedural reforms to improve ‘Ease of Doing Business’ in Kerala.

Showcasing 100-plus projects across nine sessions that include six panel discussions, the January 9-10 event at the Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Centre will seek to invigorate development in sectors such as petrochemicals, agro & food-processing, defence, life sciences, aeropolis, tourism & hospitality, ports and harbour, fisheries, infrastructure, mobility development, logistics and electronic hardware. Of the projects proposed to be taken up based on a feasibility study by professional services MNC KPMG, 18 will be ‘mega’ with an investment of more than Rs 100 crores.

Being organised by the state’s Department of Industries, the CM will also deliver the valedictory address. Vijayan will make key announcements at the January 10 function, where Industries Minister E P Jayarajan will make the closing remarks.

Thursday’s inaugural session will be presided over by Jayarajan. Industries and Norka Principal Secretary Dr K Ellangovan will make an introductory presentation. Other speakers will be Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose and Industries and Commerce Principal Secretary Sanjay Garg.

This will be followed by two panel discussions, led by top industrialists. The first, on ‘Perspectives of Global Investors’ will be addressed by M A Yusuff Ali, B Ravi Pillai, Varghese Kurian and J K Menon. Subsequently, K E Moidu, Sabu M Jacob, Abdul Razak, Jose Dominic and K Paul Thomas will speak on ‘Perspectives of Successful Entrepreneurs’.

Post lunch on Thursday will be a plenary session on ‘Key Enablers for Industrial Reforms’, with the participation of top bureaucrats such as K Biju, M G Rajamanickam, Santhosh Koshy Thomas besides Ellangovan and Garg.

At evening, there will be three parallel sessions from 4 pm: ‘Projects on Industrial Parks, Logistics and MSMEs’, ‘Projects on Mobility Development and Electric Vehicles’ and ‘Projects on Life Sciences, Healthcare and Ayurveda’. The opening remarks will be by Ministers Jayarajan, A K Saseendran and K K Shailaja respectively.

Friday’s procedures will start with a plenary session on ‘Industry 4.0: Trends and Impact for Future’. This will be followed by three parallel sessions holding panel discussions, with opening remarks by ministers Kadakampally Surendran (‘Projects on Tourism and Hospitality’), V S Sunilkumar (‘Projects on Agro and Food Processing’) and Ramachandran Kadannappally (‘Projects on Infrastructure: Aeropolis and Ports’).

Post lunch, there will be three parallel sessions: ‘Feedback and Declaration of Intent by Investors’, ‘Rebuild Kerala Initiative – Investors Perspectives’ and ‘Presentation on Kerala Infrastructure Fund’.

Overall, a minimum of 60 big-ticket projects from Industries Department and 40 from other government departments/agencies will be presented before the prospective investors. Also, the government is showcasing its upgraded investment portal to provide all the details required by investors to set up new ventures in the state.

The Invest Kerala Portal — https://invest.kerala.gov.in — is a single-window facilitator for hassle-free investment promotion launched under its Ease of Doing Business initiatives.