Kerala CM begins Europe tour

Kerala CM begins Europe tour

Agency News

Thiruvananthapuram, May 8: Kerala Chief Minister Pinarayi Vijayan will commence his Europe tour spanning two weeks with a visit to Netherlands from Wednesday.

His visit to Netherlands is at the invitation of the Dutch Government to explore possibilities of cooperation in water management, flood prevention and agriculture.
The Netherlands, with 26 per cent of the country below sea levels is a world leader in the field of water management and flood control.

It is also the world’s second largest exporter of agriculture products. It is known for high productivity in a densely populated area, with more than half the nation's land area used for agriculture and horticulture.

Kerala witnessed the biggest floods in 100 years in August 2018. Following the floods, two Dutch water experts were part of a European Union Mission involving United Nations, Asian Development Bank, World Bank, to Kerala.

Subsequently the Dutch Government sent in March 2019 a four-member Risk Reduction Mission which has submitted a report to the Kerala Government on Kuttanad, the region in the state below sea level.

During the visit, the Kerala Chief Minister will meet Minister Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Dutch Minister for Infrastructure and Water Management and Mr Jan Kees Goet, Secretary General of the Ministry of Agriculture.

He will interact with representatives of business community in a meeting organized by Mr Hans De Boer, President VNO-NCW (Dutch employers' federation).

The Chief Minister will visit the Port of Rotterdam to discuss inland water management and also see first hand measures taken for flood control and water management by the Dutch Government.

He will meet agricultural experts of the University of Wageningen to understand latest agricultural techniques in horticulture and floriculture.

Other programmes of the Chief Minister include paying a visit to the National Archives of the Netherlands to view items in their collection pertaining to the Dutch presence in Kerala in the 17th century and holding discussions on digitizing Dutch records in the possession of Kerala State Archives. He will also meet and interact with the India

The Chief Minister will address the World Reconstruction Conference (WRC) to be held in Geneva, Switzerland, on May 13 and share the experience of the devastating floods that hit the State in August-2018.

The two-day Conference is a global forum that provides a platform to collect, assess, and share experiences in disaster recovery and reconstruction and take forward the policy dialogue.

The conference will bring together leaders, experts, policy makers, and practitioners from government, international organizations, NGOs, academia, and the private sector from both developing and developed countries. It will also build on the experience and lessons learned from the previous editions.

He would also explain about the rebuilding measures launched by Kerala in the aftermath of the worst-ever floods, which includes reconstruction methods that are environment-friendly and capable of surviving natural disasters.

Besides WRC, Mr Vijayan would also attend several other programmes at Netherlands, Switzerland, London and Paris during his tour spanning two weeks.

In Netherlands, Mr Vijayan would hold discussions with the representatives of the IT sector and members of Business Confederation.

They will also visit UNEPs 'Room for River project' in Netherlands and meet agricultural experts aiming to modernise the sector in the State. The trip is also aimed at bringing new models on post flood renovations.

To attract Industrial investments to Kerala, Mr Vijayan would hold discussion with entrepreneurs in Switzerland during his visit there.

Mr Vijayan would also attend the listing ceremony of Kerala Infrastructure Investment Fund Board's (KIIFB) Masala Bond in London Stock Exchange scheduled to be held on May 17.

Kerala Finance Minister Dr. Thomas Issac, KIIFB chief executive officer Dr. K.M Abraham and Industries secretary K Elangovan would attend the listing ceremony, the release said.

Malayalee organisations in Paris has planned a meeting for the delegation led by Kerala Chief Minister to seek the investment options in the State. The Kerala delegation is also expected to visit the London School of Economics.

Kerala Chief Secretary Tom Jose, Additional Chief Secretary Vishwas Mehta, Rebuild Kerala Initiative Chief Executive V. Venu and Disaster Management Authority member secretary Sekhar Kuriakose would also accompany the Chief Minister during his foreign visit.

After the visit Mr Vijayan would return to Kerala on May 20. (UNI)