The two-day conference organized by FICCI (Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry) in collaboration with Kerala Industrial Development Corporation (KSIDC) aimed at the growth and development of Kerala has started in Kochi. The conference, being held at Lulu Bolgatty International Convention Center, was inaugurated by Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Member of Parliament. Suman Billa IAS, Principal Secretary, Industries; Harikishore IAS, MD, KSIDC; Harjinder Kang, British Deputy High Commissioner; Kris Gopalakrishnan, Chairman, Axilor Ventures; Sijoy Varghese, Secretary, Indian Ad Film Makers Association; and VP Nandakumar, Co-Chair, FICCI also spoke at the inauguration ceremony.
The conference, which discusses the overall development and investment potential of Kerala, is being attended by top government officials, investors, entrepreneurs, financial experts, and various esteemed personalities. Debates and discussions were organized as part of the conference, focusing on the areas of health and wellness, banking and finance, infrastructure, IT and ITES, entertainment, education and arts, startups, retail, tourism, and sustainable ecosystem.The conference aims at highlighting Kerala as the most attractive investment destination, where new possibilities and strategies are devised for the advancement of the industry.
In his inaugural address, Dr. Shashi Tharoor emphasized the need for revising existing laws to promote business growth and the necessity of legislation to create a favorable environment for businesses. He mentioned, “Compared to other countries, including Singapore, there is a delay in setting up businesses in India. This situation should change through a public-private partnership. Nationally, the unemployment rate in Kerala is 40 percent. It is crucial to retain educated and talented youth within the state.” Dr. Tharoor also commented that 1 million youth are expected to go abroad in the next five years.
Dr. M.I. Sahadulla, Chairman of FICCI Kerala Chapter, stated, “Although we are at the forefront in many areas, there are still many things that need improvement.” While we are excelling in health and education, many other areas need to be boosted. Based on this, an action plan named ‘Kochi Declaration: Transforming Kerala 2023’ will be prepared and submitted to the government, addressing the issues discussed in the conference. The action plan will be prepared incorporating ideas and conclusions from each discussion.” He also clarified that the progress will be regularly evaluated in the coming years.
The two-day conference in Kochi will open up endless possibilities for mutual collaboration beyond presentations and sessions. In the session on entertainment and sports, Dr. Shashi Tharoor, Kamal Haasan, Nikki Galrani, and Siddharth Suryanarayan interacted. Vishal Bali, Executive Chairman of Asia Healthcare Holdings, Shyam Srinivasan, MD and CEO of Federal Bank, and Rajesh Gopalakrishnan, General Manager of Cochin Shipyard, spoke in various sessions. The famous actress and dancer Shobhana’s performance, ‘Lotus Feet,’ also added to the attractiveness of the conference’s first day.