Updated: Dec 19 2012, 08:05am hrs
Jose Dominic,

CEO of CGH Earth Group

Pepper trade is struggling to survive. Many trading houses have shifted operations and warehouses from the Mattancherry area. Spice trade no longer holds the place as it did several decades ago. The Biennale could be the solution to the problem and help trade and tourism.

Kishore Shamji,

Veteran trader and former president of Indian Pepper and Spice Trade Association

Pepper has virtually abandoned Mattancherry for political and fiscal reasons. Militant trade unions have a role in some traders shifting to other states. Tax anomalies are another reason for trade shifting to the neighboring state of Tamil Nadu. Kerala traders have to pay 5% VAT for buying pepper, while traders from other states need pay only 2% CST when the take out pepper to processing centers in Erode and Pollachi.

Boney Thomas,

Research coordinator, KMB Foundation

Kochi and Muziris were the two windows to the world through which trade, religions and culture came to the Indian sub-continent. Judaism, Christianity and Islam came to India through Muziris. Jainism and Buddhism flourished near the ancient trade center. Chinese and the Arabs had their colonies in both ports. The liberal and cosmopolitan outlook of the people was instrumental in the growth of these centers. We adopted Koch-Muziris as the central themes because of their universal outlook.