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Industrial Development & Economic Growth in Kerala

Last updated on Mar, 9 2021

Economic Snapshot
Per capita Income


Kerala 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 has attracted tourists from around the world. BBC Travel survey has rated Kerala as the top favourite tourist destination among foreign travellers in 2018.

Kerala ranks second 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.

At current prices, Kerala’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) is estimated at about Rs. 9.78 trillion (US$ 139.94 billion) in 2020-21. The state’s GSDP is expected to grow at a CAGR of 11.72% between 2015-16 and 2020-21. The state’s per capita GSDP stood at Rs. 2,25,484 (US$ 3,226) during 2018-19.

As of November 2020, the state had a total installed power generation capacity of 5,702.62 MW, of which 2,189.36 MW was accounted by state utilities, 2,081 MW by central utilities and 1432.26 MW by the private sector.

According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), the cumulative FDI inflows in Kerala were valued at US$ 174.49 million between October 2019 and September 2020.

Exports from the state stood at US$ 2.31 billion in FY21 (until November 2020). Kerala exported two key items including marine products and petroleum products.

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 cyberpark in Kozhikode.

Some of the key performance indicators are as below:

  • In December 2020, Kerala Government announced that development projects worth Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.36 billion) will either be completed or launched in the state in the next 100 days. Of these, a total of 5,526 projects will be completed or inaugurated, amounting to Rs. 5700 crore (US$ 774.89 million), and 646 projects worth Rs. 4,300 crore (US$ 584.57 million) will be launched.
  • In 2019-20, the total production of horticulture crops in the state was expected to be 10219.76 thousand metric tonnes and area under production was 1590.56 thousand hectares. In 2019-20, the total production of vegetables and fruits were estimated at 2757.05 thousand metric tonnes and 1731.44 thousand metric tonnes, respectively.
  • In October 2020, Union Minister for Road Transport, Highways and MSMEs, Mr. Nitin Gadkari inaugurated and laid the foundation stone for 8 National Highway projects in Kerala. He announced that as part of Bharatmala Pariyojana, 35,000 km of National Highways are being constructed. Out of this, as part of Bharatmala Pariyojana in the state, 1,234 km of National Highways are being built.
  • As per the State Budget 2020-21, new lines for Kochi Metro from Petta to Thripunithura and from Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to Kakkanad Infopark are proposed at a cost of Rs. 3,025 crore (US$ 412.69 million).
  • In 2019-20, tea production in Kerala stood at 59.26 million kgs. Tea export from the state stood at US$ 84.95 million during 2019-20 (till December 19).
  • In 2019, 18.30 million domestic tourists and 1.18 million foreign tourists arrived in Kerala.
  • In 2020-21, passenger traffic handled by the state stood at 10,14,963 from Cochin airport and 3,81,536 from Thiruvananthapuram airport.
  • In FY21 (until November 2020), exports of marine products from the state stood at US$ 437.30 million.

Note: * - As per 3rd Advance Estimates, MT - metric tonnes, E - Estimates, Q - Quick Estimates

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