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(SEZ) special economic zones !!!
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Cool (SEZ) special economic zones !!! - April 16th, 2007

Special Economic Zone

A Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is a geographical region that has economic laws that are more liberal than a country's typical economic laws. Usually the goal is an increase in foreign investment. One of the earliest and the most famous Special Economic Zones were founded by the government of the People's Republic of China under Deng Xiaoping in the early 1980s. The most successful Special Economic Zone in China, Shenzhen, has developed from a small village into a city with a population over 10 million within 20 years. The article Special Economic Zone of the People's Republic of China provides more information about the Special Economic Zones in China. Following the Chinese examples, Special Economic Zones have been established in several countries, including India, Iran, Jordan, Poland, Kazakhstan, the Philippines,Russia, and Ukraine. North Korea has also attempted this to a degree, but failed. Currently, Puno, Peru has been slated to become a "Zona Ecomomica" by its president Alan Garcia. In the United States, SEZ are referred to as "Urban Enterprise Zones".

According to World Bank estimates, as of 2007 there are more than 3,000 projects taking place in SEZs in 120 countries worldwide.

In India

Considering the need to enhance foreign investment and promote exports from the country and realising the need that a level playing field must be made available to the domestic enterprises and manufacturers to be competitive globally, The Government of India had in April 2000 announced the introduction of Special Economic Zones policy in the country, deemed to be foreign territory for the purposes of trade operations, duties and tariffs. As of 2007, more than 500 SEZs have been proposed, 220 of which have been created. This has raised the concern of the World Bank, which questions the sustainability of such a large number of SEZs. The Special Economic Zones in India closely follow the PRC model.

List of SEZs in India

The policy provides for setting up of SEZ's in the public, private, joint sector or by State Governments. It was also envisaged that some of the existing Export Processing Zones would be converted into Special Economic Zones. Accordingly, the Government has converted Export Processing zones located at

* Kandla and Surat (Gujarat)
* Cochin (Kerala)
* Santa Cruz (Mumbai–Maharashtra)
* Falta (West Bengal)
* Chennai (Tamil Nadu)
* Visakhapatnam (Andhra Pradesh)
* NOIDA (Uttar Pradesh)
* Nanguneri and Tirunelveli (Tamil Nadu)[1]

Currently, India has 811 units in operations in 8 functional SEZ's, each an average size of 200 acres. The government has approved 285 sez's more. 8 Export Processing Zones (EPZs) have been converted into SEZs. These are fully functional. All these SEZs are in various parts of the country in the private/joint sectors or by the State Government. Other details shall be found in[2],[3] But this process of planning and development is under question, as the states in which the SEZs have been approved are facing intense protests, from the farming community, accusing the government of forcibly snatching fertile land from them, at heavily discounted prices as against the prevailing prices in the commercial real estate industry. Also some reputed companies like Bajaj and others have commented against this policy and have suggested using barren and wasteland for setting up of SEZs. Also the suggested cost of setting up SEZs is under speculation. SEZ is also approved in Indore in Madhya Pradesh.

SEZs are most successful in Gujarat in India because farmland is not being acquired. Instead, fallow land is being used.

Attempts to set up a Special Economic Zone in Nandigram have led to protests by villagers in the area. See Nandigram SEZ controversy.


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