Kerala, blessed with scenic beauty and abundant natural resources, provides immense opportunities for the investors the world over. The variety of cash crops; large forest reserves; and plenty of water bodies helps in creating an investment friendly climate into the State. The State has the most literate workforce and the highest human development index. It is also richly endowed with important minerals like ilmenite, rutile, monozite, zircon, sillimanite, clay and quartz sand. All such features offer conducive environment for setting up various industrial units in the State. In addition, the information technology and the tourism gives necessary support for attracting significant investments into the various sectors of the economy.
Kerala is well known for its traditional industries such as handloom, cashew, coir and handicrafts. These industries are one of the major sectors, which give employment to more than 1 million people in the State. Other important industries are rubber, tea, ceramics, electric and electronic appliances, telephone cables, transformers, bricks and tiles, drugs and chemicals, general engineering, plywood splints and veneers, beedi and cigar, soaps, oils, fertilizers as well as khadi and village industry products. Besides, there are a number of manufacturing units for production of precision instruments, machine tools, petroleum products, paints, pulp paper, newsprint, glass and non-ferrous metals. While, the principal export products in the State are cashew nut, tea, coffee, spices, lemon grass oil, sea foods, rose wood and coir.
A unique feature of the State is the predominance of cash crops. About 50 per cent of the population depends on agriculture. Kerala is a major producer of coconut, rubber, pepper, cardamom, ginger, banana, cocoa, cashew, aracanut, coffee and tea. Spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, etc. are also cultivated. Rice and Tapioca are the important food crops. On a national scale, 92 % of the rubber, 70 % of coconut, 60 % of tapioca and almost 100 % of lemon grass oil is produced from the State. Kerala’s agriculture has the distinction of having the highest gross income per net cropped area. For instance, coconut occupies 41 per cent of net cropped area and provides livelihood to over 3.5 million families. While, the four plantation crops of rubber, coffee, tea and cardamom accounts for 29 per cent of the net cropped area in the State and 42 per cent of the area in the country.
Kerala offers immense opportunities for the investors in the information technology (IT) industry. The use of IT is increasingly being considered as the critical factor in generating and accessing wealth, power and knowledge of the State. Kerala has also been selected as the second best State in India in implementation of e-governance. Accordingly, the Government of Kerala has framed an IT policy with a view to delineate a strategy for harnessing the opportunities and the resources offered by IT for the comprehensive social and economic development of the State. It has also taken several other steps for the development of IT in the State. Prominent among them are:- (i) Technopark in Thiruvananthapuram, the India's first world class and world-scale IT campus; (ii) IT Park at KINFRA at Kochi; (iii) Akshaya Programme of Kerala IT Mission; and (iv) E-Governance initiatives of State Government like FRIENDS (Fast Reliable Instant Efficient Network for disbursement Service). FRIENDS is a 'single window mechanism', where citizens have the opportunity to pay all the taxes and other financial dues to the Government.
Kerala has emerged as the most acclaimed tourist hotspot in the country. Beaches, warm weather, back waters, hill stations, water falls, wild life, Ayurveda, year–round festivals and diverse flora and fauna make Kerala a unique destination for tourists. Better known as "God's Own Country", Kerala offers a host of exciting holiday options. The factors stimulating a flourishing tourism sector include scenic splendour, moderate climate, clean environment, friendly and peace loving people with high tolerance for cultural diversity as well as the potential for creating unique tourism products. Some of the important places of tourist interest are:- Thiruvananthapuram; Kollam; Pathanamthitta; Alappuzha; Kottayam; Idukki; Ernakulam; Thrissur; Palakkad; Malappuram; Kozhikode; Wayanad; Kannur and Kasaragod. Moreover, the efforts are being undertaken for the development of village tourism, MICE tourism (meeting, incentives, conventions and events/ exhibitions/trade shows), heritage tourism, eco-tourism and medical tourism. In kerala, Thenmala is the major project undertaken under eco- tourism. Thenmala Eco-Tourism project features a tourist facilitation centre, shop court garden, plazas, picnic area, natural trail, rock climbing, river crossing amphitheatre, restaurant, suspension bridge, lotus pond, musical dancing fountain, sculpture garden, deer rehabilitation centre, boating, battery powered vehicles, etc.