CHENNAI: Defending his western style ‘coat-suit’ sartorial preferences abroad during his just-concluded foreign tour to attract more direct foreign investments (FDI) to Tamil Nadu, Chief Minister Edappadi K. Palaniswami struck the proverbial ‘when in Rome, do as Romans do’ note, saying it was appropriate.
He also disclosed that his official foreign visits will continue to attract FDI and best technologies for replication in Tamil Nadu and a trip to Israel is being planned.
“When we go to foreign countries to meet captains of industry, it would be only proper if one is also dressed in their attire; we should without stating our preferences, fulfil their expectations,” Palaniswami quipped, when reporters at the Chennai airport asked him why he gave up his western attire for the traditional Tamil dress ‘dhoti’ during his return journey back home.
Taking a range of media questions soon after his arrival here, after a hectic two-week three nation tour, in the wee hours of Tuesday, Palaniswami said that the outcome of his visits to the UK, USA and Dubai, was very positive with foreign investors “more enthusiastic to invest in new industries in Tamil Nadu than we expected.”
The interest shown by the Tamil and Indian Diaspora who have gone to those countries from Tamil Nadu was even greater, Palaniswami said, adding, they were very keen to “come and meet me here and start work soon.”
To another question, giving a synoptic view of his tour outcome, he said in all 41 MoUs were signed in those countries with investments commitment to the tune of Rs 8, 830 crore.
“We expect 37,300 new jobs to be generated in Tamil Nadu,” he said, after dwelling in some detail the places and projects he had visited along with his cabinet colleagues and senior state officials.
Asked about the repeated criticisms by the Opposition DMK leader M K Stalin about his tour to woo foreign investors at a time of global economic slowdown, Palaniswami said right from the day he took office, they have been only opposing him due to their political frustration and jealousy, “as things did not turn out as they wished (after demise of former Chief Minister J. Jayalalithaa).”
Palaniswami explained that his Cabinet colleagues have also been undertaking foreign visits relevant to their respective departments to bring global best practices to Tamil Nadu.
“Our state economy will grow, more jobs will be created, tourism is being promoted and this will be a basis for taking Tamil Nadu on a high growth path and hence I undertook this foreign tour,” the Chief Minister elaborated.
Rejecting the suggestion that the global economic slowdown could hit investments into Tamil Nadu, Palaniswami shot back, if that was the case “why would they sign MoUs in the first place?” “They find the required manpower here and foreign investors are convinced about the quality of higher education here,” he added.
On whether he would undertake more foreign visits, Palaniswami said it will continue, adding, he has planned a trip to Israel to study water management practices and economy in water use and recycling of waste water.
The 'Yaadhum Oore' initiative by the Tamil Nadu government to network with the Tamil Diaspora was received exceptionally well by Tamils abroad, he added....