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Post damage, Jagan hardsells AP’s ports to boost blue economy

Usually Chief Ministers are seen as leaders who boost the state’s image or woo investors to invest in their state. Politically, their strategy of getting more investments into the state benefits them during elections. But, Andhra Pradesh CM Y.S. Jaganmohan Reddy did the opposite. From driving out foreign investors to reversing policies that hurt many companies which had already invested in Andhra, Jagan’s haphazard decisions impacted the state’s economy severely. 
 
Now, Jagan is trying to undo the damage by hard selling Andhra Pradesh to investors. In a move to attract large investments in manufacturing, petrochemicals, food processing, pharmaceuticals and other sectors to ensure that the ports in Andhra Pradesh operate at their full capacity, Jagan attended the Maritime India Summit 2021, inaugurated virtually by Prime Minister Narendra Modi. 
 
During his address, Jagan mentioned that the state is well-poised to promote port-based industries and develop new economic cities driven by the ports all along its 976-km coastline. Further, he also invited representatives of various companies from India and abroad, who attended the summit, to invest in AP and assured them the best environment for their operations and full support from his government.
 
“Indian ports handled approximately 1.2 billion metric tonnes of cargo in 2019–20 and much required policy reforms like 100 per cent FDI, Make in India, Sagarmala and Bharatmala have been introduced to ensure exponential growth in this sector,” he added.  
 
Stating the importance of Blue Economy in a nation’s growth story extends much beyond the maritime trade and the export/import statistics, Jagan said the true value of it is unlocked only when all the allied sectors — such as aquaculture, maritime and coastal tourism, chemical and biotechnological exploration, shipbuilding and other port-led industries — mature enough to provide sustainable employment and growth opportunities.
 
What has surprised many during his address at the Maritime Summit is his statement on Ease of Doing Business (EoDB). The YSRCP government, during Chandrababu Naidu’s Chief Ministership in the previous term always attacked the TDP government stating the EoDB rankings were bogus. But, when Jagan stated that AP is ranked on top in Ease of Doing Business, he turned many heads.  
 
Jagan further said: That EoDB top rank is one of the factors that contributed to this achievement is the State government’s consistent efforts in developing port infrastructure, supporting the ecosystem and encouraging port-led industrialisation. We have a major port in Visakhapatnam, five functional ports and 10 other notified State ports with world-class facilities that handle more than 170 million tonnes of cargo per annum, second only to Gujarat.” 
 
With Andhra Pradesh sharing 4%of total Indian exports, we aim to reach 10% share by 2030, he informed. Going by the CM’s antiques at the Maritime Summit, many in the political circles state that he’s being laughed at for stating what he earlier mocked at and for not understanding how vision of the previous government has given him an undue advantage. Let’s hope that this hard selling reaps benefits for the people of Andhra Pradesh and uplifts the state’s economy. 

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