The chief minister of Andhra Pradesh N Chandrababu Naidu makes more foreign visits than even the prime minister of the country. It's all for the cause of attracting investments, he claims. But the opposition has demanded a white paper on his overseas jaunts, which it terms nothing more than 'pleasure trips'.
Undaunted, the Naidu juggernaut rolls on. In his grand quest to make  Andhra Pradesh’s emerging capital Amaravati a giant hoover of foreign investments, his entourage now heads north, all the way up to Yekaterinburg in Russia. He is slated to participate in Innoprom, an international trade fair being held at the Russian city for four days.
This is Naidu’s second foreign visit in as many weeks to woo global investors. Last week Naidu spent five days in China, his second trip to the country two years.
Naidu will be participating in the Yekaterinburg trade fair along with Maharashtra CM Devendra Fadnavis and Rajasthan's Vasundhra Raje.
“The chief minister is expected to make a presentation on the advantages in investing in Andhra Pradesh, which has a 900 km long coast and a large pool of English speaking skilled manpower.  Naidu will also showcase the opportunities available in the manufacturing sector in Andhra Pradesh and infrastructure development in the form of ports and international airports,” sources in the chief minister’s office told Asianet Newsable.
Naidu, according to sources, is enthused by the huge response he got from Chinese investors.
“During his five-day visit to China, we managed to extract investment commitments worth Rs 38,000 crore. We are hoping to do as well in Russia," said a senior CMO official.
The CM has been on an investment hunt ever since he assumed office in 2014.  He has visited Singapore thrice and China twice. In between, he visited Japan, Malaysia, UK and US.  He organised an investment fair in Vizag last year where the government claims memoranda of understanding (MoU) worth Rs 5 lakh crore were signed which could potentially generate six lakh jobs. He even set up the Andhra Pradesh Economic Development Board on the lines of a similar body in Singapore.
However, the frequently flying Naidu came in for severe criticism from the opposition. C Ramachandraiah leader of opposition in legislative council ridiculed these tours as pleasure trips at the cost of public money. The YSR Congress has demanded a white paper on the money Naidu and his bureaucrats have spent on such trips, the exact quantum of actual investments and jobs created thanks to their efforts.
“Naidu is crisscrossing the globe only to the create false impression that he is working overtime to get investments flowing into Andhra Pradesh. That is because he has failed to deliver on any of the assurances he made in the elections manifesto. All these MoUs worth lakhs of crores is a myth and very soon it will be broken,” Ramachandriah said.
YSRC spokesperson K Parthsarathi said Naidu was resorting to tall talk on investments by visiting at least one country a month. "Every time he visits a country he brandishes thousands of crores in MoUs . People have the right to know the reality behind these MoUs,” said Parthasarathi.