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Looking for investment options in Kerala? Here are 10 sectors to watch out for 

Kerala is on a mission to reverse its image as a ‘not so industry-friendly’ state with a new policy that promises huge incentives for companies. Significant reforms are on the way to transform the state into business and investment-friendly.

The Kerala government has recognized some priority sectors with potential for future growth and have featured them on its Invest Kerala portal. Scroll down further to know more. 

Tourism

Kerala is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. The state’s distinctive heritage and culture, rich biodiversity and beautiful landscapes have always attracted tourists from different parts of the globe. After the COVID-19 pandemic, Kerala Tourism bounced back clocking 3.8 million domestic tourists in the first quarter of 2022, marking an impressive growth of 72.48 per cent as compared to 2.2 million footfalls during the corresponding period of 2021. As for foreign tourist arrivals, the number rose from 14,489 in the first quarter of 2021 to 43,547 during the corresponding period in the current year, notching a significant increase of 200.55 per cent.

Food Processing

Kerala has been one of the leading states in food processing. The projects being undertaken by the state government in the sector include KINFRA Food Processing  Park, Kakkanchery, Malappuram, Food and Spices Park, Muttam, Idukki, KINFRA Mega Food Park, Palakkad, and KSIDC Mega Food Park, Alappuzha. Spices Park is coming up in Idukki. 

Marine Processing

The State has a long coastline of over 580 km. In addition, it has innumerable water bodies, generating a huge potential for inland & marine fishing, providing it a prominent position in fish cultivation. Kerala is home to 75% of India’s EU certified seafood processing units. 

Petrochemical

Kerala is emerging as a hub for petrochemical activities, investing in projects having estimated costs of over INR 1,000 crore. KINFRA is developing a Petrochemical Park of international standards at Ambalamugal in Ernakulam District of Kerala. This project is being set up to create an industrial park with modern facilities exclusive for the Petrochemical sector. It is estimated that the park would attract investment to the tune of INR 1000 Crores to this sector with a direct and an indirect employment generation of approx. 10000 and 5000 numbers respectively.

Kerala IT

Kerala is home to more than 1000 IT companies, employing more than 100,000 employees. The state offers IT infrastructure in the form of dedicated IT parks such as Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram and Kollam, Infopark at Kochi, and Cyberpark at Calicut.

Life Sciences

Kerala is designated as one of the 34 biodiversity spots in the world. Presence of rich biological and geographical diversity, coupled with R&D institutions, make Kerala a flourishing Life Sciences hub of India.

Handlooms

Handloom is one of the major traditional industrial sectors of Kerala. The Directorate of Handlooms and Textiles, Kerala under the Department of Industries and Commerce aims at evolving policies for the promotion and development of handloom and textile sector in the state.

Electronics

Kerala has world-class R&D & testing facilities to promote electronics and related sectors. It is home to several companies engaged in the manufacture of various components, products and services catering to high-end electronics for sectors such as the defence sector. Kerala is the first State in the Country to set up a company dedicated to Electronics (KELTRON).

Coir

Coir is one of the most-loved products from the state. Alappuzha district is a major coir products supplier to the world. Since it produces an eco-friendly product, the industry ranks top in the sustainable development plan. Apart from domestic use, coir is used in building, agriculture, horticulture, and infrastructure.

Traditional handicrafts

Kerala is a major hub for manufacturing and export of traditional handicrafts in the country. The artisans of Kerala are famous for their extraordinary skills in wood carvings, designer jewellery and idols in metal. Kerala is also famous for artefacts and curios made out of bamboo, coconut shell, coir and other materials. 

Looking forward

Kerala’s draft industrial policy was unveiled in September this year. The new policy would be released in January 2023, and will be effective from April 1, 2023. In addition to the state’s traditional sectors, the new policy also focuses on sunrise sectors including Artificial Intelligence, hi-tech farming, value added rubber products, medical equipment, biotechnology, graphene, electric vehicles, and robotics. Major incentives proposed include investment subsidy, 100% electricity and stamp duty waivers, and expenses reimbursement. 

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