Industrial Development & Economic Growth in Kerala

Latest update: August, 2018

Economic Snapshot
Per capita Income


August, 2018

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 transshipment terminal in India, having a design capacity of around 4 million TEUs and providing better connectivity between Kerala and other ports in India.

The state’s GSDP recorded a CAGR of 11.13 per cent between 2011-12 and 2016-17.

During 2017-18, 36.40 MT of basmati rice was exported from the state. Total value of the export was US$ 37.98 thousand. The state exported 57.87 thousand MT of non-basmati rice for US$ 39.89 million during the same time.

Under SEZ Act, 2005, Kerala has 29 formally approved SEZs, 25 notified SEZs and 19 exporting SEZs. The state has a techno park in Thiruvananthapuram which has been instrumental in attracting global electronics manufacturers, an info park in Kochi, and a cyber park in Kozhikode. Performance of the key sectors of state is as follows:

  • During 2017-18**, fruits and vegetable production in the state stood at 2,493.90 thousand MT and 2,010.78 thousand MT respectively
  • During 2017-18, tea production Kerala stood at 63.88 million KG. As of April 2018, tea exports from the state were 14.5 thousand tonnes.
  • During 2017-18, the state exported 57.87 thousand MT of non-basmati rice for US$ 39.89 million. During 2018-19^, the state exported 9.92 thousand MT of non-basmati rice for US$ 6.65 million.
  • Kerala accounts for 85 per cent of total coir production in India and its coir industry provides employment to around 375,000 people. Export of Coir and Coir products in the state stood at US$ 40.58 million during 2016-17
  • As of June 2018, 26 road project works have been completed in the state under PMGSY
  • During 2017, 14.67 million domestic tourists and 1.09 million foreign tourists arrived in Kerala.
  • The cargo traffic handled by Cochin port was 7.73 million tonnes during 2018 – 19**.

Note: * - As per 1 st Advance Estimates, ** - Up to June 2018, ^ - April – May 2018, MT – metric tonnes

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