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Industrial Development & Economic Growth in Kerala

Last updated on Nov, 17 2020

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 August 2020, the state had a total installed power generation capacity of 5,702.37 MW, of which 2,189.36 MW was accounted by state utilities, 2,081 MW by central utilities and 1432.01 MW by the private sector.

According to Department for Promotion of Industry and Internal Trade (DPIIT) Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) inflow in Kerala, including Lakshadweep, reached US$ 2.94 billion between April 2000 and March 2020.

Total merchandise export from the state stood at US$ 9.77 billion during 2018-19. During April-December 2019, the export stood at US$ 7.80 billion.

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:

  • Kerala Government in the State Budget 2020-21 launched ‘Local Employment Assurance Programme’ (LEAP) to provide employment to 1.5 lakh people per year through local self-government institutions.
  • During 2018-19*, fruits and vegetable production in the state stood at 1,885.97 thousand metric tonnes (MT) and 3,042.86 thousand MT, respectively. State accounted for about 78% share in the total natural rubber production in 2017-18. Natural Rubber production in Kerala stood at 551 thousand MT during 2017-18.
  • In October 2019, the state attracted around Rs. 10,000 crore (US$ 1.43 billion) investment from different investors belonging from Dubai.
  • 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.
  • Cargo traffic handled by Cochin port stood at 34.03 million tonnes in FY20.
  • In 2019, five investment intentions under IEMs worth Rs. 129 crore (US$ 18.46 million) were proposed in the state.
  • During 2019-20 (till Dec 2019), export of marine products from the state stood at US$ 558.26 million.

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

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