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Madhya Pradesh seeks to lure foreign investors by offering all-expense paid holiday
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Madhya Pradesh seeks to lure foreign investors by offering all-expense paid holiday


KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia, Dec. 14

India’s second largest state, Madhya Pradesh, is seeking to lure foreign investments by offering to host prospective investors as state guests for an all-expense paid working holiday.

‘‘I invite you in my personal capacity to be the guest of my government,’’ Shivraj Singh Chauhan, the visiting chief minister of Madhya Pradesh, said in a speech Wednesday to Malaysian businessmen.

‘‘Seeing is believing. See Madhya Pradesh, enjoy our hospitality, invest if you can and profit from it,’’ said Chauhan who is traveling with a large delegation that earlier visited Singapore.

While India has become one of the hottest destinations for foreign companies, investments have gone only to some parts, while places like little-known Madhya Pradesh have lagged behind.

Chauhan said his government will offer large tracts of land at cheap prices, which he claimed would be the lowest in the world, to businesses intending to set up factories.

He pointed out that Madhya Pradesh, a landlocked state in central India, has the lowest labor cost in the country with a minimum daily wage of about 110 rupees (US$2.5; euro2), abundant power and water, virtually no labor unrest and a pro-business government.

All this would amount to savings of at least 21 percent in revenue every year for businesses, he said.

Madhya Pradesh will host a global investor summit on Jan 16-17 at its top tourist site, Khajuraho, famous for its 10th to 12th century Hindu temples of erotic sculptures.

Any businessman who arrives prior to the summit with a view to investing will be treated as a state guest the moment he or she lands in the state capital, Bhopal, said Praveen Garg, the managing director of the State Industrial Development Corporation Ltd.

‘‘It is a serious offer. No strings attached. We will provide you transportation from the airport to the hotel, take you around, pay for your hotel,’’ he said. ‘‘After all, you will be investing in our state.’’

Madhya Pradesh has already set up a Special Economic Zone that provides tax breaks.

The government says investment opportunities abound in mineral based industries as it is the only Indian state where diamonds are mined. It also accounts for a majority of India’s reserves in copper, pyrophyllite and diaspore.

The state is also inviting investment in food processing industries, pharmaceutical, gems, textile, tourism, auto components, power generation and infrastructure.



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