|Seminar on Performance of Indian Export Processing Zones (EPZs)|
|March 30, 2005|
|From L to R: Dr. Aradhna Aggarwal, Consultant, ICRIER, Mr. Gopal K. Pillai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Dr. Arvind Virmani, Director & Chief Executive, ICRIER.
ICRIER organised a seminar on ‘Performance of Export Processing Zones: A Comparative Analysis of India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh’ to analyse factors carrying important policy implications crucial for the success of EPZs and SEZs in India. The seminar was chaired by Mr. Gopal Pillai, Additional Secretary, Ministry of Commerce & Industry, Government of India.
Elucidating the economic rationale behind EPZs, Mr. Pillai, pointed out that the real test in terms of the success of the zones was whether they have lead to an overall increase in the economic activity – the indicators being economic growth, investment and employment. Dr. Aradhana Aggarwal, Consultant ICRIER, explained in her presentation that the purpose behind the zones was to establish a viable internationally competitive platform capable of attracting export oriented investment to promote exports. To sustain their competitiveness in the long run it is important to improve countrywide investment climate, as the zones cannot be insulated from the broader institutional and economic context of the country. Finally, the zones will need to give way to industrial clusters of high tech industries to help jump-start the manufacturing processes in the country and improve export competitiveness with greater return.
Dr. Arvind Virmani, Director & CE, ICRIER, pointed out that China’s success as compared to India was mainly in terms of attracting export related FDI and labour intensive exports. India he said needs to bring its infrastructure availability and quality to global standards in the SEZs within the next few years