Kerala is known as God’s own country. It is one of the few states to have marketed its natural beauty successfully to the leisure tourism sector. The state’s unique heritage and cultural diversity have helped attract tourists from the world over. Its strategic location on the trans-national trade corridor, rich natural resources, and simple and transparent procedures make the state favourably suited for investments in major sectors such as tourism, IT/ITeS, manufacturing and mining.
Kerala holds second rank in the Investment Climate Index followed by Karnataka, as per a policy research working paper by the World Bank. The state stands second due to its world-class infrastructure and well-trained human resource pool. Kerala's traditional industries include handloom, cashew, coir and handicrafts.
Kerala is a leading agricultural state in the country and the largest producer of rubber, pepper, coconut and coir. As per budget 2018-19, Government of Kerala proposed an outlay of US$ 1,131.75 million for the Agriculture, Animal Husbandry and Co-operation sector.
It has the first international transhipment terminal in India, having a design capacity of around 4 million TEUs and providing better connectivity between Kerala and other ports in India.
Between 2004-05 and 2015-16, Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) expanded at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.18 per cent to US$ 89.44 billion whereas the Net State Domestic Product (NSDP) expanded at a CAGR of 11.34 per cent to US$ 68.5 billion.
As of December 2017, Kerala had 29 SEZs with formal approval and 25 notified SEZs. A cyber-park, spread over a 68-acre campus, is being developed in Kozhikode. Kerala has been promoting knowledge-based industries such as IT/ITeS, computer hardware and biotechnology. It is the first state having a technology park with CMMI level 4 quality certification and a world-class IT campus in Thiruvananthapuram.
The following are some of the major initiatives taken by the government to promote Kerala as an investment destination: