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AP is gateway for trade to Asian countries: State Finance Minister

Amaravati/Hyderabad: Andhra Pradesh is gateway to Asian countries for all exports and imports, said Finance Minister Buggana Rajendranath, promoting the State for investments in the forthcoming Global Investors Summit (GIS) scheduled on March 3 and 4 in Visakhapatnam.

Highlighting the names of the companies which set up shop in the State, endowed with a coastline of nearly 1,000 km, he listed Kia, Isuzu, Yokohama, Ashok Leyland, Apollo and Bharat Forge.

“In electronics sector, we have prominent names like Bluestar, Foxconn, Daikin, Panasonic and WinTech working from here,” said a press note shared on Friday, quoting the Minister as saying at the roadshow conducted in Hyderabad, the last one.

According to Rajendranath, it is not Hyderabad alone which is a base for the pharmaceutical industry as he flaunted the names of companies such as Mylan, Biocon, Lueben, Hetero, Laures Labs, Divis Laboratories, Aurobindo Pharma, GSK, Dr Reddy’s and Apollo, which operate from the southern state.

“This shows that we have a perfect ecosystem for business expansion. All this reiterates AP’s number one position in ease of doing business for three consecutive years,” he asserted.

Aimed at bolstering Andhra Pradesh’s air connectivity, the Finance Minister said the State is expending Rs 2,500 crore to build an international airport at Bhogapuram near Vizag.

Moreover, he said that the State intends to develop inland waterways to slash logistics costs as 27 locations have been identified as prioritised terminals, adding that waterways in Andhra Pradesh will a potential to handle 10 MT of cargo by 2029.

Meanwhile, State Industries Minister Gudivada Amarnath showcased the strengths of Visakhapatnam, a port city which the State government wants to make the capital, as a hub of public sector units (PSUs) with port-led infrastructure and strengths in IT, pharmaceuticals, medical equipment, textiles, steel, heavy industry and defence.

“Vishakhapatnam is the largest city in Andhra Pradesh and will serve as its administrative headquarters in months to come,” said Amarnath. Other offers to the industry from the State government include business friendly environment, best-in-class facilities, hassle-free set up, skilled talent pool and end-to-end handholding assistance.

Moreover, he promised that the State will shortly introduce a forward-looking industrial policy, emphasising on driving economic growth across the key focus sectors and others.

The Industries Minister said the State will provide a one-stop digital platform for all domestic and foreign investments through Andhra Pradesh Single Desk Portal, including confirming that business-specific approvals to set up companies will be granted in 21 days’ time.

Bharath Kumar Thota, chief operating officer, AP Food Processing Department noted that the southern state is not only a rice bowl in India but also a cocoa production hub.

“70 per cent of the cocoa production comes from Andhra Pradesh… Whether it’s Cadbury or Nestle it is made from the cocoa that comes from Andhra Pradesh,” said Thota, adding that the State is also a large pulp exporter, catering to the needs of companies producing fruit-based derivatives such as Tropicana.

He said most of the pulp comes from Chittoor and Anantapur districts in the southern part of Andhra Pradesh.