AP CM Naidu wants Vizag to be global financial technologies centre

Visakhapatnam: Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu today said the state is aiming to develop Visakapatnam as a world centre of excellence for financial technologies.

“I want to make Visakhapatnam not only India’s capital for fintech or blockchain technologies, it will be a centre of excellence for the global community,” Naidu said at a blockchain business conference here.

Naidu, who is credited with making the undivided Andhra capital Hyderabad into an IT hub two decades ago, affirmed his government’s support to realise this aspiration.

He said financial technologies, like blockchain, machine learning and artificial intelligence, are the technologies of the future and it is necessary to work towards those objectives.

Post-division, the Andhra Pradesh government has created a “fintech valley” in this coastal city and is working on creating an ecosystem focusing on education, innovation and research activities.

Without quantifying, Naidu said in the next year, the government is targeting to increase the work done in Vizag e on blockchain alone by up to five times.

In the Fintech valley, nine companies are already operational in a single tower and 11 more are in the process of setting up, he said.

Naidu remembered his time in making Hyderabad as the IT hub, saying getting Microsoft on board helped it to attract other companies.

Observing that technology can help bring good to the people, Naidu said his state is targeting to get USD 2 billion in IT investments and USD 5 billion in electronics.

He said the fintech valley has so far been able to attract 100 IT companies, which have invested Rs 6,000 crore and created 5,500 jobs.

Naidu said his government is targeting to create one lakh IT jobs and attract USD 2 billion in investments, but did not specify any timelines.

AP’s IT minister Nara Lokesh claimed that the state is the first to adopt blockchain in governance, and pointed out to pilot projects happening on road transport front.

The government also announced a slew of initiatives like Broadridge centre of excellence on blockchain, Thomson Reuters’ CoE in association with Geetham University, and also the creation of dedicated forums for fintech and blockchain.

Naidu exhorted the fintech valley to have a hackathon every month to solve real problems and announced one next month devoted to agriculture which will be attended by Microsoft founder Bill Gates.