231 SEZs operational up till 30th September, 2018
355 SEZs notified till 22nd January, 2019
Investment in SEZs stood at Rs. 4,92,312 cr. up till 30th September, 2018
Total persons employed in SEZs was 19,96,610 during the period
Total exports from SEZs in FY2017-18 was worth Rs. 5,81,033 crore
‘Economic Zones’ are the vanguard to opening a country’s economic supply chain to the outside world. They provide an environment laced with a liberalised regulatory regime and financial incentives, which help to attract investment, kick-start production, generate quality employment, and give a thrust to trade. Most emerging economies are moving towards adopting this framework and creating ‘specialised’ economic and export hubs that would give them better access to foreign funding and an inexhaustible overseas consumer base.
Presently, ‘Special Economic Zones’ in India are an integral part of the country’s domestic as well as foreign policy, they help attract FDI, and epitomise the philosophy of initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Skill India’. The country boasts of 231 operational SEZ and around 355 SEZ that are notified (as on 22nd January, 2019). An additional 421 SEZ acquired formal approvals and 32 secured in-principle approvals (as on 30th September, 2018).
Global audit, accounting and consulting group, Mazars India has partnered with Exhibitions India Group to prepare a knowledge paper titled “Specialising the EZ Footprint”. The paper talks about the existing SEZ scenario in the country, and how policies, both at Union and State level, are encouraging manufacture, investment and trading activities through a slew of incentives and rebates. It briefly explores the economics of the industries based in such zones, the impact of policies on their businesses, bottlenecks faced by them, etc.
The knowledge paper will be launched at the first ever Global Economic Zones (GEZ) Expo & Convention 2019, to be held at The Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, from 27-29 March 2019. The event is organised by the Export Promotion Council for EOUs & SEZs (EPCES) in collaboration with Wbf International Centre Services (WICS), and managed by the Exhibitions India Group (EIG), a highly professional company with over 30 years’ experience in trade shows.
Talking about the knowledge paper, Shri Bharat Dhawan, Partner, Mazars India, observed, “Global Economic Zones have popularly been used as a launchpad for greater production and trade, helping connect a country across various geographical domains. India pioneered its zone development in 1965, leading to a robust special economic zone (SEZ) ecosystem in early 2000, which has substantially ramped up foreign collaboration over the last decade. Nevertheless, this framework has lately come under the wheels, with incoming tax sunsets and fiscal impositions painting in a questionable future.”
“Every sunset is followed by a sunrise. Mazars believes that the upcoming shift should not dampen, but rather uplift the domestic SEZ sphere, helping turn zones into proactive economic hubs. The crux lies in reshaping the pace and breadth of change that keeps the market in-tact and curbs unwarranted speculation. A possible way forward is to take a creative, collaborative and connected approach, which instills to retain the “specialty” behind special economic zones, albeit transforming necessary edges that cut down conflicts and inefficient time snags. This paper is designed to examine and evaluate the growth of the domestic SEZ landscape till date, mapping out its road ahead.”
Referring to the knowledge paper, Shri Siddharth Singh, Chairman, WICS Connect Group said, “Planned area-specific infrastructure development for economic activity is not a new phenomenon, but it got an added impetus with the SEZ Act of 2005, with a generous helping of tax incentives. The role SEZs have played in attracting investments, expanding trade and generating employment since then has been remarkable. The need of the hour is to conceptualise innovative incentives to meet the new challenges and explore the full potential of this robust engine of growth. The knowledge paper prepared by Mazars India dwells upon these possibilities at length. It’s a tried and tested tool that has helped India plug into the global supply chain. The government will do well to further strengthen this dynamic platform and give it a pivotal role to play in all national programmes aimed at faster economic development.”
Shri Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group said, “The concept of trade and investment has changed significantly in recent years. The rapid growth of Special Economic Zones and their success in contributing to export‐led development is partly due to unprecedented globalisation of trade and investment that has given rise to global production networks. Today, the term “Factory Asia” is heard again and again in not only the western world, but other developing economies of Africa and South America. China and India are the clear leaders in attracting foreign investment and exporting a variety of goods and services to billions of overseas consumers.”
Talking about Mazars’ collaboration with Global Economic Zones expo (GEZ), Bharat Dhawan further added, “We are proud to be associated with the Exhibitions India Group for the upcoming GEZ expo & convention. Economic zones have undoubtedly played a pivotal role in developing the Indian economy till now and with initiatives such as ‘Make in India’, ‘Skill India’, ‘Digital India’ and ‘Self-Reliant India’ on the cards, their role should only proliferate in the time to come. The expo is a dynamic platform that will bring together all requisite stakeholders in this regard, catalysing new opportunities and avenues.”
About Mazars India
Mazars is a leading independent and integrated international organisation that specialises in audit, accountancy, advisory and tax services. It assists major international groups, entrepreneurial and small businesses, private investors and public bodies at every stage of their development.
About Export Promotion Council for EOUs and SEZs (EPCES)
EPCES has been set up by the Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India, to service the export promotional needs of EOUs & SEZs in the country. It has a clear mandate to attract investment in SEZs (including FDI) and to market Indian SEZs abroad in order to attract units to SEZs. EPCES represents major industrial sectors, like textiles, garments & yarn, gem & jewellery, leather goods, food & agro products, electronics & software, pharmaceuticals & chemicals, engineering, minerals, granites & other stones, plastic & rubber goods, etc. EPCES is the only scheme-specific and multi-products exports promotion council.
About Wbf International Centre Services (WICS)
WICS Group offers country and industry-specific advisory and implementation services for business expansion. The company has an expert team of business leaders, technical specialists, and advisors with intimate experience of sovereign government operations, who provide valuable services to entrepreneurs in forging productive business partnerships in the domestic and overseas markets. WICS Group works with clients across a variety of business sectors and domains, including finance & insurance, energy & utilities, IT, telecom, media & entertainment, manufacturing, healthcare & pharmaceuticals, textiles & garments, consumer goods, etc.
About Exhibitions India Group (EIG)
Exhibitions India Group is a trade promotion organisation creating opportunities for investments, joint ventures and technology transfers. Exhibitions India Group acts as an interface between businesses, government, academia, society, media, etc. Exhibitions India Group has been in existence since 1987, and is committed to providing satisfaction to its customers by organising quality and focused international trade shows through exceptional services, employee involvement, market intelligence and continual improvement.
For more information, please visit: www.exhibitionsindia.com.
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