Sought investments in infrastructure during China visit: Siddaramaiah

Bangalore, Sep 16 : Karnataka sought overseas investments in the infrastructure sector and latest technology to improve productivity in the farm sector, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah said Monday after returning from a week-long visit to China.

"As we need huge investments in infrastructure projects to grow our economy in double digit, we held a road show Sep 13 at Dalian on the investment opportunities in the state and policy initiatives to attract global investors," Siddaramaiah told reporters here.

Siddaramaiah, who returned Sunday, participated in the three-day annual meeting of the World Economic Forum (WEF) from Sep 11 at Dalian in the northeastern Liaoning province.

"About 150 global firms from diverse sectors participated in our road show. Many of them evinced interest in investing in the state.

"We have invited them to attend the third Global Investors' Meet (GIM) here (Bangalore) in October 2014 to explore investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, healthcare, education, transportation, food processing and tourism," the chief minister said.

In a separate meeting with Israeli chief scientist Avi Hasson, Siddaramaiah sought Israeli expertise in drip irrigation and farming techniques to improve productivity in the state's farm sector.

"Israel has domain expertise in drip irrigation and developed advanced technologies to increase yields of many crops by making optimal utilisation of its limited land and other resources. I am glad to inform you that Hasson expressed keen interest in engaging with our state in research and development activities," Siddaramaiah said.

The state government has recently signed an agreement with the Israeli research and development (R and D) agency Matimop to share technology in diverse fields, especially agriculture.

"The visit provided an opportunity to meet top government and business leaders of other countries. It also helped us in gathering information on various development issues in China, which has experienced high growth during the last three decades since it embarked on the reform process in the early eighties," the chief minister pointed out.

In his meeting with WEF executive chairman Klaus Schwab, the chief minister highlighted the state's potential in the knowledge economy in view of the high growth in IT, aerospace and automobile sectors.

"Schwab has expressed interest to involve the state in the forum's various activities, which bring together business, industry, academia and policy makers in finding solutions to global problems," Siddaramaiah noted.

WEF managing director Robert Green Hill offered to facilitate investments in the state's farm sector from global firms under the forum's 'New Vision for Agriculture'.

A 14-member business delegation and a nine-member official team accompanied the chief minister for the China visit.

Among the global leaders and prospective investors the chief minister met included Finnish Prime Minister Jyrki Katianen, Maltese Prime Minister Joseph Muscat, Japanese Science and Technology Minister Hakubun Shimomura, Malaysia's multinational Q1 group chairman Vijay Eshwaran and Spanish wind energy major's chief international officer Carmen Becerril.

--IANS (Posted on 16-09-2013)

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