Foreign mission: CM to interact with biz leaders to woo investments to TN

Chennai: ‘Ulagam Suttrum Vaaliban’. This title of a yesteryear MGR blockbuster would now fit Chief Minister Edappadi K Palaniswami, who is co-heading the party founded by the matinee idol. For, EPS will be the first CM of Tamilnadu to go on a foreign tour in many years, with the last being M Karunanidhi (to Singapore in 1999).

According to sources, the Chief Minister will leave for London 28 August. From there, he will go to the United States and then to Dubai, before returning to Chennai 10 September.

“It is a two-week packed trip during which the CM will meet business leaders and invite them to invest in Tamilnadu. He will also visit places of importance in both the countries to know how things are being governed there. Best practices will be implemented in the State,” highly placed sources said.

The Central government has cleared his tour programme and has also issued a diplomatic passport, the sources said and added that this would be a follow-up to the Global Investors Meet hosted by the Tamilnadu government in Chennai.

“These days, CMs should act like CEOs in things like bringing investments to their States.¬†When the Chief Ministers of other States are making trips to foreign countries to meet business leaders, the head of Tamilnadu too has to embark on one, even though TN is one of the preferred choices of investors and among the most industrialised States in the country. This is the reason behind Palaniswami’s foreign mission,” a top official said.

A high-level delegation comprising Ministers C Vijayabaskar, M C Sampath, R B Udhayakumar and K T Rajenthra Bhalaji and officials including Chief Secretary K Shanmugam is accompanying the Chief Minister.

It is learnt that events have been planned with Tamils living abroad, and Palaniswami would address them, asking them to be the ambassadors of Tamilnadu. Also, he would promise company heads all support from the government for their investment plans in the State.

From traditional to trendy
If sources are to be believed, Palaniswami, who is so far seen only in veshti-sattai, would undergo an image makeover during his foreign trip, as he would be wearing business dress while meeting some high profile delegates there.


To meet Sundar Pichai?
The Chief Minister, during his US visit, is likely to meet Google CEO Sundar Pichai, who hails from Tamilnadu. However, this is yet to be confirmed. An official release here said Palaniswami would sign a pact with the Kings College Hospital, London, to set up its branch in the State. He would also meet several investors including Hinduja of Ashok Leyland, besides visiting wind mill and solar power facilities to study the feasibility of implementing them in Tamilnadu. In the US, he will meet officials of Ford Motor Company, Caterpillar Inc., and San Francisco-based Bloom Energy. In Dubai, he will address an event organised by the Indian Consulate and Business Leaders Forum.


M Bhaskar Sai