PUNJAB: A Lucrative Destination for International Investors
Urban Melange|November 2020
PRESENTING AN EXCLUSIVE TÊTE-À-TÊTE WITH ALOK SHEKAR, PRINCIPAL SECRETARY INVESTMENT PROMOTION, INDUSTRY, COMMERCE AND IT
MANDEEP PURI

How would you assess the attractiveness of Punjab to international investors?

Punjab is a very attractive destination for international investors, with relevant infrastructure, political stability, and being in close proximity to the national capital region. Punjab has a well-connected rail and road network, two international airports and one domestic airport, and good connectivity to different parts of the country and the globe. In Chandigarh, and its satellite towns, Punjab offers world-class living conditions. The state has strong law enforcement and labour conditions. The ecosystem of world-renowned institutes in the state guarantees the availability of skilled manpower. The Government of Punjab offers attractive incentives through its Industrial and Business Development Policy 2017. Invest Punjab ensures a single window for all regulatory clearances, as well as support for investors. Consequently, Punjab is home to many international businesses, including Walmart, Nestle, Sunjin, etc.

Tell us about the role of the manufacturing sector in the future of Punjab’s economy?

Although traditionally Punjab has been an agrarian economy, there’s a need to shift to other sectors for sustainable growth. Manufacturing is the only sector capable of absorbing surplus labour arising from agriculture. Punjab is well poised to have a dynamic manufacturing sector in future - in sectors where it can build on the existing ecosystem and value chain in food processing, biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, textiles and hosiery, automobile parts, precision tools, sports goods, and electronics system design and manufacturing.

What are the main challenges that the industries in Punjab are facing?

Punjab is landlocked, and the distance from the seaport is an obvious disadvantage for industries in Punjab. However, this has been significantly addressed with separate cargo terminals set-up at the international airports in Amritsar and Mohali, and the inland container depots in Ludhiana and Mohali.

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