Huge opportunities for foreign investors in Andhra: Jagan

Vijayawada, Aug 9 (IANS) Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Y.S. Jagan Mohan Reddy on Friday invited foreign investors to invest in the state, saying it offers huge opportunities for them and assuring them all assistance.

He invited them to explore the opportunities in business and infrastructure, transfer of knowledge and technology, human development and partnership in welfare initiatives.

Jagan Reddy was addressing diplomats and representatives of 35 countries at diplomatic outreach programme organized by the state government here to showcase Andhra Pradesh's potential.

Ambassadors, Consuls General and other diplomats of 12 countries and representatives of other countries attended the programme, the first such event organized by the Jagan Reddy government after coming to power in May.

The Chief Minister tried to allay apprehensions of the industry over some controversial decisions taken by his government, including 75 per cent of reservation for locals in all industries and cancellation of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) signed by previous Telugu Desam Party (TDP) government with producers of renewable energy.

Jagan Reddy claimed that the steps taken by the government were in the interest of the industry. He assured all possible help to investors keen to invest in various sectors.

He told the delegates that the state's 972 km coastline offer significant opportunities in maritime, logistic and processing sectors.

The Chief Minister said the state was investing heavily in enabling infrastructure which already includes six operational seaports, six airports, over 123,000 km of road network and 2,600 km of rail network.

Stating that his government inherited a financial resource gap of Rs 45,000 crore, Jagan Reddy highlighted the priorities of his government and explained various welfare initiatives launched during last two months.

He sought innovative financial mechanisms from global players to bridge the resource gap so that the government can undertake both welfare programmes and infrastructure development.

Interestingly, Jagan Reddy skipped mention of development of new state capital Amaravati, which was the top priority of his predecessor N. Chandrababu Naidu.

He said Andhra Pradesh not only aspired to continue to be the best in ease of doing business but it also plan to reduce the cost of doing business by simplifying regulations and processes.

He said water and irrigation, urbanization, and industry and environment were his immediate development goals.

Jagan Reddy sought international cooperation in transfer of technology and best practices, foreign direct investment in key projects in core infrastructure sectors like seaports and airports, highways, power and steel.

--IANS

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