KOCHI: Strikes, lockouts and ‘bandhs’ may turn potential foreign investors away from Kerala -- one of India’s most progressive states with a booming tourism that has seen traffic increase, thanks to innovative and aggressive ways of marketing its inherent strengths.
Austria which was keen to enter into multiple partnerships with Kerala in the sphere of ayurveda, tourism and renewable energy but is now reconsidering its plans. Frequent hartals (strikes) have succeeded in sending out firm signals that the joint ventures may run into rough weather.
This was confirmed by Mr Jutta Stefan-Basti, Austria’s Ambassador to south Asia at the 26th Annual Convention of Kerala Management Association (KMA) on 8th March, 2007. He expressed apprehensions over the viability of a business environment in the verdant and picturesque state, which had a strong trade union presence and a history of striking employees.
Pointing at the hartal organized by the CPI (ML) yesterday, she said Kerala no longer figured in the list of suitable investment destinations for Austrian businessmen.
Of the 1.2 million tourists who visited Kerala last year, Austria accounted for 24 million footfalls, with many coming for Ayurveda treatment, which is why it made good business sense to harness the state’s strengths through a collaborative venture.
Meanwhile, speaking at the convention, All India Management Association (AIMA) President Subir Raha said upgradation of ITIs and polytechnics, faculty development and creation of small and medium enterprises would go a long way in creation of more jobs.