March 27, 2019
The first-ever Global Economic Zones (GEZ) Expo & Convention 2019 was inaugurated by Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of the NITI Aayog at The Ashok, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi, today.
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), the event provides a platform that allows sharing of good practices and experiences between special economic zones and highlights the role they have played in the development of the country.
Speaking during the special address at the inaugural ceremony, Shri Amitabh Kant, CEO of the NITI Aayog said, “I am a firm believer in the fact that it is not possible for India to grow at high rates of 9-10% over a long period of time without exports. While we are growing at about 7%, we need to grow at 9-10% year after year for the next three decades or more to be able to lift our very young population above the poverty line. This is just not possible without exports.”
He further added, “No country post World War II, whether it was Japan, Korea or China, has grown without exports. And, therefore, for exports to grow, we need the ease of doing business. On the subject of trading across borders, a lot has to be done. We are currently placed 86 globally, and need to become number one. Also, it is not possible to grow without size and scale, which can happen only if we are able to create large economic zones, as has happened in Singapore and China.”
Talking specifically about the development activities in the State of Haryana, Shri Depinder Singh Dhesi, Chief Secretary, Government of Haryana said, “Our government has taken a decision, in principle, to set up what we call the ‘Panchgrams’, the five ‘Mega Cities’, each one having an area of 50,000 hectares; so cumulatively 2,50,000 hectares of activity all along the expressways. Of course, these things take time. The concept will evolve gradually, also taking into account what is happening with the rest of the nation and the world. As part of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor, we already have a number of early-bird projects and definitely some of these will be in the shape of economic zones.”
Shri Anup Wadhawan, Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India said, “SEZs are extremely important instruments, if you look at their evolution historically, and the role they have played across the world, particularly in countries like China, and also in countries like India. For an economy-wide reform of the policy and regulatory framework, and of the soft and hard infrastructure required for economic development, this is not a practical exercise that is likely to yield results in the foreseeable future. So typically we need to focus our efforts in manageable pockets.”
Speaking about the event, Siddharth Singh, Chairman, WICS, India said, “This is the first event of its kind globally that is fully dedicated to special and other economic zones. Through this event we hope to provide a platform where we could discuss what role SEZs can play in the economic development of the country; about the success stories, where have we gone wrong, what were the pitfalls; and what are the loopholes that need to be plugged. We considered it necessary to provide a platform where these issues can be discussed between the stakeholders and policymakers; and that was the idea behind organising this event.”
The inaugural session also witnessed the release of a knowledge paper by Mazars India titled, “Specializing the Easy 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.
At the launch of the knowledge paper, Ankur Malhotra, Director, Mazars Advisory, LLP, India said, “We have been closely working with Exhibitions India Group to conceptualise a range of white papers including smart practices and logistics reforms shaping the Indian landscape. We are delighted to present this knowledge paper that illustrates the progress of economic zones in the country being centered around the EZ footprint.”
Shri Babu Lal Jain, Chairman, Foundation for MSDG, India said, “The Foundation for Millennium Sustainable Development Goals, was formed in 2011 with a view to uplift those people who are below the poverty line and are suffering from the non-availability of the desired resources. The foundation is at the forefront in spreading awareness on government social welfare programmes, especially at the grass-roots level.”
Concluding the inaugural ceremony, Shri Prem Behl, Chairman, Exhibitions India Group stated, “The Union government has successfully introduced amendments to the SEZ Act 2005 in an effort to increase investment and manufacturing activity in these zones. It will be a while before the results of these actions will show. Meanwhile, the economy continues to reap benefits that trickle down right up to the labour force.”
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.