Positive response to GIFT city sows seeds for GIFT II

March 15th, 2008 - 12:59 am ICT by admin  

By P.S. Anantharaman
Ahmedabad, March 14 (IANS) Encouraged by the positive response its $6 billion (Rs.240 billion) high-tech city project received from various quarters, Gujarat International Finance Tech-city (GIFT) company is now planning to construct another global city in the state. “It seems the entire 25 million sq feet of the built-up area of the GIFT city will be signed up before the completion of the first phase in 2010. The total built-up area of the project is pegged at 75 million sq feet,” company chairman Sudhir Mankad told IANS.

According to Mankad, GIFT II, which would come up on 500 acres of land, would be as big as the first one.

The GIFT city, which is being built according to global standards, is coming up between Naroda in Ahmedabad and Gandhinagar, 12 km from the Ahmedabad international airport.

Companies like State Bank of India (SBI), Kotak Mahindra Ltd, Punj Lloyd Ltd and also a number of overseas firms have booked space in the upcoming city. The total space booked exceeds 40 million sq feet, he said.

Mankad said many global mutual and pension fund companies have shown interest in setting up their shops in GIFT city. A bourse in Chicago in the US could be another participant.

According to Mankad, the marketing strategy of GIFT has three key elements. First, it will provide a base in the state for investors. Second, it seeks to make Gujarat a destination for financial tourism and a base to export financial services to non-resident Indias (NRI) and overseas clients/institutions. Finally, it will focus on technology infrastructure for financial markets and technology services providers.

GIFT would be equipped with an efficient transportation system besides possessing a fully integrated technology centre. As a financial hub, the city will target international financial services, which include offshore banking units, international financial services firms and back office processing centres.

A 12 km dedicated expressway to the international airport is being built as part of the project.

In the domestic segment, the city plans to work in tandem with financial institutions, capital and commodity market players, investor organisations and associates and regulatory bodies.

D.S. Anjaria, one of the directors of the GIFT, said out of the total 500 acres of land, 250 acres will be allotted to a multi-services special economic zones (SEZs) for which the centre has accorded approval.

Multi-services SEZs would comprise processing and non-processing areas.

GIFT could become a centralised hub for mid and back office related activities for domestic financial services company, said Anjaria.

Gujarat’s Finance Minister Vajubhai Vala, presenting the state budget, said when GIFT city becomes operational, it would provide direct employment to half a million professionals and indirect employment to an equal number in allied support services.

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