Thiruvananthapuram: Minister for Diaspora K.C. Joseph Monday said that a consulate of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) would open in the state capital in a month's time.
Speaking to IANS, Joseph said the decision to open the consulate was taken last year and all clearances have since been granted.
He said UAE authorities had visited the state last week and all they needed now was "moral support" from the state government and help in finding a suitable building to house the offices.
"We have nothing to do in this. All they have asked us to help with is finding a suitable building. We have agreed. The biggest advantage now is that this would be an impetus for other Middle East countries to open their consulates also," Joseph said.
He said the Sri Lanka government had also evinced interest in opening a consulate in the state.
"With the UAE consulate opening, it's going to be a huge help for our people to get their documentation for travelling and for working in the UAE," Joseph said.
According to a study by S. Irudayarajan, who heads the Migration Unit attached to the Ministry of Overseas Indian Affairs at the Centre for Development Studies here, more than a million people from Kerala work in the UAE.
At present, those travelling to the UAE have to get educational certificates certified by the UAE embassy/consulate for which the documents have to be sent either to Delhi or Mumbai.
The new office is also expected to provide a huge boost to businessmen as trade between UAE and Kerala is increasing.