Foreign trips useful for state: Vijayan’s response to Oppn

Thiruvananthapuram: Breaking his silence on the Congress-led Opposition’s cryptic comments about his frequent foreign trips, Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan on Saturday termed them hugely useful, especially for the youth.

The Congress quickly reacted to the Chief Minster’s remark. Leader of Opposition Ramesh Chennithala reiterated that the trips were an abject failure and waste of money.

Vijayan returned to the state capital on Thursday after an 11-day trip to Japan and South Korea. Chennithala and the entire opposition were up in arms terming it as a pleasure trip, coming at a time when the state is passing through one of its worst-ever financial crisis.

Vijayan said it would be best to ask the officials who accompanied him, on how hectic their trip was.

“The first day in Japan, we were able to strike an investment of Rs 200 crore when Nita-Gelatin, a company that has been in Kerala for the past four decades announced they would invest afresh. The leading blood bag manufacturer here, Termo Penpol that has partnership with Termo Corporation Japan is investing Rs 105 crore,” Vijayan said while interacting with the media, providing the business and investment-related details of his trip.

“There were hugely positive talks with Toshiba. Five mayors from Japan are soon arriving to see how best they could invest in Kerala. Two delegations are coming from South Korea to have a look into investing in seafood processing and in food processing sectors here,” said Vijayan.

“A company that supplies auto component parts to Hyundai has expressed its desire to set up one unit at Palakkad. The Busan Port has agreed to train our port officers. The Japan International Cooperation Agency and Hyundai have both expressed their interest to participate in our proposed high speed rail corridor. The governments in Japan, South Korea, besides companies from these two countries have also committed to take part in the Kochi investment meet to be held in January,” added Vijayan.

However, Chennithala continued to trade charges when he told the media soon after Vijayan came out with his trip achievements, that nothing good has come for the state from the numerous foreign jaunts Vijayan took.

“The only thing that happens after every visit is a long list comes out and then nothing is heard at all,” said Chennithala.