The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Flood of MoUs at mega meet

Kochi, Jan. 19: Kerala signed memorandums of understanding for investments worth more than Rs 15,000 crore through the Global Investors Meet, billed as the state’s first mega initiative to attract investors to the state.

The final tabulations of investments will be done tomorrow, after which the figures would be finalised, chief minister A.K. Antony said today. Antony and Kerala industries minister P.K. Kunhalikutty asserted that the initiative has had the expected results, which is facing extreme resource deficiency in various sectors including industry.

MoUs worth Rs 7,000 crore were signed yesterday, the first day of the meet, inaugurated by Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee. The Prime Minister had announced the Centre’s plans to invest Rs 10,000 crore in the state.

Today, the NeST Group announced investment proposals of Rs 3,000 crore. The money will be used for a Virtual University, Growth Venture Fund and highway projects.

The Leela Group of hotels announced its intention to build an airport in the north Kerala town of Kannur while investors from Gulf countries — most of them non-resident Indians — plan to set up an e-city in Kochi.

Modelled on the Dubai Internet City, the e-city will be developed by the Kerala Investment Company, a firm that will be registered in the UAE to drive foreign investment into Kerala.

MoUs signed on the industrial development front totalled Rs 4,500 crore, while MoUs in the education and tourism sectors totalled Rs 1,600 crore and Rs 900 crore, respectively.

The meet was attended by more than 1,500 business delegates from various countries including the US, European and Gulf nations.

Even as the meet made some progress, several cultural organisations and personalities continued their protest against the “sell-out” policies advanced through the meet and against the manner in which police was let loose on the pretext ensuring safe conduct of the meet.

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