‘Tapping into AP’s blue economy is crucial for state’s growth’

The blue economy is not only about the ocean economy or about engagement with the oceans and various water bodies, but it is also about how development and environment sustainability can go hand in hand, said Rajat Bhargava, principal secretary (Industries, Investment, and Commerce).
Participating in the stakeholders’ consultation meeting on blue economy organised by the State government in association with Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce & Industry (FICCI) at the Interim Government Complex in Velagapudi, he said it is of utmost importance to India as well as to the Coastal States like Andhra Pradesh where key sectors, such as fisheries, food processing, textile, tourism, etc., individually contribute to the economy are put under one umbrella.
Explaining the vision of the Chief Minister, he said Andhra Pradesh has a strong presence in agro and food processing, textiles, chemicals, petrochemicals, pharmaceuticals and electronics sectors, the blue economy has to cover these areas. 
Considering the State’s strategic location which can act as Gateway to the East and Southeast Asian economies, the industries department under the leadership of the Chief Minister developing policies which will not only ensure economic growth for the industrial sector in the State but will also generate employment, leading to overall development, he said.
According to Rajat Bhargava, the State government envisions holistic, smart and sustainable economic growth through blue economy. The development of the blue economy sector is of strategic importance to the State due to the vast coastline which offers various potential opportunities. Evidence-based management shall be followed for devising and implementing the strategy.
As part of this initiative, the State government will identify and partner with countries such as Germany, Russia, and Japan, where blue economy sectors are being developed on a large scale. 
To further support the seafood processing industries, the State wishes to attract investments in temperature-controlled warehouses along the coast, feeder cold storage facilities near production areas and develop cold chain in PPP mode with investments from the private sector.

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