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Commerce Ministry to organize SEZ road show in Bahrain to attract investors

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Ministry says the show “will help in enhancing the SEZ investment” 

SEZ logoNew Delhi: The Commerce Ministry is taking a team of officials to Bahrain for a road show to attract foreign investors in the special economic zones which account for about 30 per cent of India’s total exports.

A ministry official said, “The objective of the road-show is to convey positive signals to the international investment community. During these shows, we will inform the foreign players about the business environment of the country and advantages in investing in SEZs.”

Once an attraction for investors, SEZs, lost its sheen after the imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax, Dividend Distribution Tax in 2011 and certain provisions in the proposed Direct Tax Code regime as well as global slowdown.

The government had announced incentives to revive investor confidence in SEZs. The reforms included easing of land requirement norms. The official said the Bahrain show will also see investors from Dubai, Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

“Foreign investors can take advantage of low labor cost and highly skilled professionals in India. Investors from can set up units in SEZ, which have world class infrastructure,” he added.

The show will help in enhancing investments in SEZs and boost the country’s exports and contain the widening Current Account Deficit. CAD had touched a record 4.7 per cent of GDP in the last fiscal. The government aims to bring it down to USD 70 billion this fiscal from USD 88 billion in 2012-13.

As many as 58 SEZ developers have surrendered their projects due to various reasons, including global economic slowdown and changed fiscal incentive regime till 31 July.

The government has formally approved 576 such zones out of which 173 have commenced exports. During April-June, exports from these zones stood at USD Rs 1.13 lakh crore. During the same period, the country’s overall exports aggregated to Rs 4.05 lakh crore.


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