USISPF Briefing with Special Chief Secretary to Government, Industries & Commerce, Government of Andhra Pradesh
On April 17, officials from the government of Andhra Pradesh joined USISPF members on a webinar to provide updates on the state’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The speakers included Rajat Bhargava, Special Chief Secretary to Government, Industries & Commerce for the Government of Andhra Pradesh; Krishna Giri, Executive Vice Chairman of the AP Economic Development Board and Industrial Promotion Advisor for the Government of Andhra Pradesh; Sasidhar Kona, Principal Secretary of IT and Electronics; and J.V.N. Subramanyam, Director of the Industries & Commerce Department and CEO of the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board.
Speaking on the state government’s response to COVID-19, Mr. Subramanyam highlighted that in Andhra Pradesh, the vast majority of administrative districts are classified as “green,” or unaffected by coronavirus, under the three-color classification system for identifying COVID-19 hotspots. He also highlighted the state’s ability to rapidly increase its testing capacity, and for companies in the state to respond to the increased demand for ventilators, testing kits, and other key equipment. He credits the effective use of technology for the success of the state’s response to the crisis, including the use of an E-Pass system for essential workers, GIS technology for mapping hotspots and buffer zones, and the state’s single desk portal to streamline the ease of doing business.
The speakers also highlighted opportunities for U.S. businesses in Andhra Pradesh. Secretary Bhargava stated that the government of Andhra Pradesh will extend “all possible help” to companies interested in coming to the state in the future, and highlighted the state’s work with Korean and Japanese companies to create specialized business parks as an opportunity also available to U.S. companies, as well as existing infrastructure for electronic manufacturing clusters and ‘medical tech zones.’ Secretary Kona also highlighted the state’s system of electronics and IT as both an opportunity for U.S. companies and a key factor in Andhra Pradesh’s coronavirus response strategy.