India’s Special Economic Zones

The Economist compares India’s SEZ plans with China’s:

One of the big differences between India’s SEZs and China’s is in size. Although Reliance Industries, India’s biggest private-sector company, is planning enormous, town-sized, SEZs near Mumbai and in Haryana, near Delhi, most of the others are tiny. The minimum area for a multi-product SEZ is 1,000 hectares (3.9 square miles), for a product-specific zone, it is 100 hectares, and for information technology, biotechnology and jewellery, just ten hectares. By comparison, Shenzhen, biggest and most famous of China’s original SEZs, covers 126 square miles. That scale was a huge factor in its initial success along with the presence, just over the border in Hong Kong, of labour-intensive manufacturers wanting to lower their costs. Enjoying neither of these advantages, India’s smaller SEZs may do more for their promoters than for India.

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Rajesh Jain

An Entrepreneur based in Mumbai, India.