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 total GSDP is estimated at Rs. 999,643 crore (US$ 131.34 billion) in 2022-23, an increase of 10.8% over FY22. The state’s GSDP recorded a CAGR of 7.68% between 2015-16 and 2021-22.
As of August 31, 2022, the state had a total installed power generation capacity of 6,246.69 MW, of which 2,232.01 MW was accounted by state utilities, 2,097.2 MW by central utilities and 1,917.48 MW by the private sector.
According to the Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT), cumulative FDI inflows in Kerala were valued at US$ 645.86 million between October 2019-June 2022.
Exports from the state stood at US$ 1,855.34 million FY 2022-23 (until August 2022)
The following are some of the major initiatives taken by the Government to promote Kerala as an investment destination:
- Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi laid the foundation and dedicated to the state several projects of the Kochi Metro and Indian Railways totaling Rs. 4,500 crore (US$ 552.69 million) in September 2022.
- A training on Smart Farming using e-crop was inaugurated by Mr. P.Prasad, State Minister for Agriculture Development and Farmers Welfare, on 16th June, 2022 at ICAR – CTCRI, Thiruvananthapuram by launching the e-crop based smart fertigation facility.
- Cargo traffic handled by the Cochin port stood at 14,432 thousand tonnes between April-August 2022.
- In FY22, the total marine products exports from Kerala accounted for US$ 678.33 million, which was 15% of the total exports.
- In FY 2022-23 (April-August) the state’s passenger traffic stood at 3,374,142 at Cochin airport and 1,392,747 at Thiruvananthapuram airport.
- In 2021-22, the total production of horticulture crops in the state was expected to be 6,160.28 thousand metric tonnes and area under production was 1,483.03 thousand hectares. In 2021-22, the total production of vegetables and fruits were estimated at 544.95 thousand metric tonnes and 1,939.452 thousand metric tonnes, respectively.
- As of July 2022, Kerala has 25 total notified 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.
- Under the State Budget 2022-23, the government has allocated Rs. 5,664 crore (US$ 742.6 million) for roads and bridges.
- In the State Budget 2022-23, the government allocated funds worth Rs. 1,902 crore (US$ 249.4 million) for urban development projects in Kerala.
- In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi launched the ‘Smart Roads’ project in Thiruvananthapuram that will be undertaken at an estimated cost of Rs. 427 crore (US$ 58.91 million). It envisages conversion of 37 kms of existing roads to smart roads by bringing all overhead utilities underground and undertaking road and junction improvements.
- In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi inaugurated the 320 KV Pugalur (Tamil Nadu)-Thrissur (Kerala) power transmission project. The project, built at a cost of Rs. 5,070 crore will facilitate the transfer of 2,000 MW power from the western region to meet the power needs of the state.
- In February 2021, Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of the integrated command and control centre, which is projected to be built at a cost of Rs. 94 crore (US$ 12.97 million). It is being set up to host smart solutions for Thiruvananthapuram Municipal Corporation and will act as a common point of action during emergency situations to facilitate coordinated action.
- In January 2021, Kochi airport commissioned two floating solar power plants with a combined capacity of 452 KWh to sustain the power needs of the airport.
- 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 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.