A redeeming chance: Tamil Nadu gears up for Global Investors Meet

With Tamil Nadu dropping in its ranking as an investment destination last year, the Global Investors Meet 2019 provides a platform for the state to redeem itself, if only superficially.
A redeeming chance: Tamil Nadu gears up for Global Investors Meet
A redeeming chance: Tamil Nadu gears up for Global Investors Meet
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Tamil Nadu is all set to host its second Global Investors Meet (GIM) on January 23 and 24 in an attempt to woo investors from across the world. A pet project of late Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa, the last GIM was held in 2015. Even during Jayalalithaa's time, though the GIM had boasted of huge numbers, the actual investment was much less than what was promised. For example, a total of Rs 19,574 crore was promised to be invested in the state in 2015, of which only Rs 501 crore had materialised. Even if actual investment from GIM may tend to not match the inflated promises made during the summit, this year’s GIM is crucial for Tamil Nadu, which has been dipping in its ranking as an investment destination.

According to its website, the focus of this year’s Global Investors Meet would be to “promote industrial activity in the State and with a view to provide a focused platform to the business leaders, investors, corporations, policy and opinion makers of India and abroad.” (sic) The state also hopes to showcase, among other things, Tamil Nadu’s potential business opportunities and sector specific investable projects to investors, and the Ease of Doing Business initiatives undertaken by the state government. In an attempt to position the state as the 'Investor's Choice', the Tamil Nadu government is also hoping to bring together national and international experts to share sector-specific global best practices.

The summit to woo industrialists and encourage them to invest in Tamil Nadu is also a redeeming chance for a state that dropped out of the Department of Industrial Policy and Promotion's top 10 investment destinations last year. From being in the list of top 10 states in 2015, Tamil Nadu dropped to the 12th spot, accounting for only 0.79% of the total investments across the country in 2017. The state received a total investment of Rs 19,811 crore in 2015 but its prospects declined steadily with Rs 6,172 crore in 2016 and Rs 3,131 crore in 2017, according to DIPP.

The GIM has outlined 12 focus areas for the summit: Aerospace & Defence, Agro & Food Processing, Automobiles & Auto Components, Chemicals & Petrochemicals, Electronics & Hardware, Heavy Engineering, IT/ ITeS, Infrastructure, Pharmaceuticals & Biotechnology, Renewable Energy, Skill Development, and Textiles & Apparels.

The summit itself was promised to be held once in two years. However, this was delayed by four years. Along with the demise of former Tamil Nadu Chief Minister J Jayalalithaa in December 2016 and a crop of issues that sparked protests in the state, Tamil Nadu was flagged for business risk by industries. This year's summit also comes after Cascade Energy Pvt Limited, a Singapore-based approached the Madras High Court, seeking that guidelines be framed for participation of companies. The Singapore had reportedly been cheated of Rs 33 crores after it had invested the India-based Zynergy Solar Projects and Services Private Limited.

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