BENGALURU: The Karnataka government on Monday set up a task force to attract multinational corporations (MNCs) willing to move out of China in the aftermath of the covid-19 outbreak, which had its epicentre in Wuhan.
"There is a pushback against China by several countries. Rising labour costs, shortages of workforce, a trade war with the United States, the rise of manufacturing hubs in South-East Asia and now a pandemic that originated on its mainland, China may not be able to retain its position as the world's factory in the post-covid global economic order," the state government said in its order while announcing the move.
The task force will be headed by Karnataka chief secretary T.M.Vijay Bhaskar.
The state government said the task force was being set up "for attracting investments and to woo disenchanted multinational companies looking to shift their manufacturing bases away from China in the backdrop of the coronavirus outbreak."
The formation of the task force is in line with the state's "compete with China" policy.
The move comes at a time when Karnataka is also deliberating on relaxing labour laws and other hurdles to revive industries and businesses which have been hit hard by a nearly 50-day lockdown.
Uttar Pradesh, Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh have already relaxed labour laws to attract investments.
Karnataka is hoping to capitalise on a global trend wherein countries like the US, Japan and South Korea have asked their companies to relocate from China.
Japan is reportedly paying its companies to shift out of China.
Karnataka was gearing up to host its global investors meet in November and has made it easier for industries to purchase land in the state. It also wanted to roll out a new industrial policy to attract investments.
It has proposed country-, and industry-wise clusters in the state to create ecosystems that will bring in more investments. Senior officials in the state industries department said these clusters would make Karnataka more attractive for global investors.