Manufacturing zones planned in east, south (Lead)

January 12th, 2012 - 9:58 pm ICT by IANS  

Hyderabad, Jan 12 (IANS) The government plans to set up manufacturing and investment industrial zones along India’s eastern and southern corridors, Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said Thursday.

Addressing the Partnership Summit, he said the government had announced seven national manufacturing and investment zones along the Delhi-Mumbai industrial corridor.

He said it would be the largest infrastructure project in the world. “It will embrace 43 percent population of India. We are now looking at the eastern and southern corridors.”

He said Andhra Pradesh would have one of the mega industrial zones with integrated townships that will be hubs of manufacturing and innovation.

He pointed out that after India’s independence only two townships were developed: the industrial city of Jamshedpur and the residential city of Chandigarh

Business delegates from 42 countries are attending the summit organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII).

Singapore’s Emeritus Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong, United Arab Emirates Foreign Trade Minister Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid AI Qasimi, Indonesia’s Gita Irawan Wirjawan, Afghan Finance Minister Omar Hazrat Zakhilwal, Sri Lanka’s Industry Minister Rishad Bathiudeen and Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Kiran Kumar Reddy also addressed the inaugural session.

Sharma said countries need to look at new ways of production and sustainable growth, considering the challenges of climate change.

He pointed out that India had come out with the national manufacturing policy “which would be a game changer and transformative for India in decades to follow”.

The policy is aimed at raising the share of manufacturing in GDP from 16 percent to 26 percent in a decade and create 100 million jobs.

Voicing concern over lack of progress in the Doha round of WTO talks, Sharma cautioned against protectionism, saying it would only deepen recession.

He called for removing the existing barriers and for more engagement to ensure free flow of goods and services. Addressing the Partnership Summit 2012 here, he said multilateralism was the only way forward.

“A multilateral agreement will be important to address past distortions and imbalances which are weighing heavily against the developed countries,” he said.

The minister noted that at a time when the global economy wa under stress, the world was witnessing protectionist trends. “History has taught us that protectionism is counter-productive. It can deepen recession.”

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