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Andhra Pradesh keen to emulate Dubai’s inclusive growth model, says minister

India’s 8th largest state has a well-developed social, physical and industrial infrastructure



Mekapati Goutham Reddy, Zulfi Ravdjee, adviser to chief minister; Mettu Govind Reddy, chairman APIIC; Karikal Valaven, IAS; SPL CS Industries Infra and Investment; Subramanyam Javvadi, IAS, director, Industries and CEO APEDB; and Hafeez Khan, MLA Kurnool at the Khaleej Times office on Monday. —Photo by Shihab
Mekapati Goutham Reddy, Zulfi Ravdjee, adviser to chief minister; Mettu Govind Reddy, chairman APIIC; Karikal Valaven, IAS; SPL CS Industries Infra and Investment; Subramanyam Javvadi, IAS, director, Industries and CEO APEDB; and Hafeez Khan, MLA Kurnool at the Khaleej Times office on Monday. —Photo by Shihab
by

Anjana Sankar

Published: Wed 16 Feb 2022, 12:40 PM

India’s resource-rich South Indian state, Andhra Pradesh is keen to emulate the Dubai’s model of inclusive growth and the government is taking several measures to promote rapid industrialisation and skill development of its youngsters, a top minister from the state has said.

“Dubai has a very thriving, successful population. The model of governance has been to promote inclusive growth. So, this is what we are looking forward to in Andhra Pradesh,” Mekapati Goutham Reddy, Minister of Commerce and Information Technology, Government of Andhra Pradesh told Khaleej Times during his visit to the newspaper’s headquarters in Dubai on Monday.

“I think we have a lot to learn from the UAE. It is a fantastic platform for us to learn from and duplicate the same model in Andhra Pradesh.”

Reddy, who is visiting the UAE, has already met with industrialists and investors to promote his state and attract investments. Earlier on Monday, he along with Dr Thani bin Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of State for Foreign Trade, Dr Ahmed Albanna, UAE Ambassador to India and Sunjay Sudhir, India Ambassador to the UAE, inaugurated the Andhra Pradesh Week at the India pavilion at Expo 2020.

Blessed with abundant natural resources, a vast coastal line, mineral wealth, people with entrepreneurship skills, low-risk and easy environment for businesses, the minister said there cannot be better place to invest than Andhra Pradesh.

The erstwhile state of Andhra Pradesh has been bifurcated into two states, Telangana and residuary Andhra Pradesh (Seemandhra), by the Andhra Pradesh Reorganisation Act, 2014 or the Telangana Act. With 13 districts and a geographical area of 1,62,970 sq. km., Andhra Pradesh ranks as the 8th largest state in the country.

The state has a well-developed social, physical, and industrial infrastructure and virtual connectivity. It also has good power, airport, IT, and port infrastructure. At current prices, Andhra Pradesh’s Gross State Domestic Product (GSDP) was $138.19 billion) for 2019-20 as opposed to $126.1 billion for 2018-19, according to India Brand Equity Foundation.

Work from home

Though after the bifurcation in 2014, it lost out on commercial hub Hyderabad and its IT-rich infrastructure, Reddy said Andhra Pradesh has successfully moved many IT jobs from big two-tier cities into its three-tier cities and villages.

“Every fourth person working in IT sector comes from Andhra Pradesh. What we have done is three simple things. We have made sure that bandwidth is available to each and every nook and corner of our state. We have created facilities for people to come together and work in a conference setting facilities. And, third most important thing is we have given them free access to internet. So, people can be working out of our villages, but be reporting in Dallas.”

On the state’s efforts to promote industrialisation, Reddy said the state has earmarked nine sunrise industries state should be looking to adapt itself and also investing in those technologies in the coming days. “We are looking at pharmaceuticals, petrochemical corridors, artificial intelligence, machine learning etc.”

Skill development of workforce

To drive industrialisation, the minister said the government under Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy is overhauling the education system to fix the ‘skill gaps.’ “We have revisited the curriculum at education institutions. At the same time, we have set skilling to be part and parcel of the whole curriculum. So, right from kindergarten up to the graduation, we have created a curriculum for skilling whereby, you know, students get graded accordingly,” said Reddy.

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“Skilling is going to be one of the biggest advantages that we can create. We have got a very young population and we are creating a workforce not only for India, but also for the world…the workforce that is a global player, has the best access to technology and a strong knowledge-base” said Reddy.

Hence, he said, the entire gamut of development, investments, industrialisation and skill development has come under one ministry’s portfolio under one ministry to bring convergence. “So, an investor could come to Andhra Pradesh, and he walks out with not only setting up his industry, but we also give him access to a pipeline of skilled workforce.”


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