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Export Processing Zones to get a makeover

16
Dec '09
The Export Processing Zones (EPZs) setup in the 1990s to accelerate industrial growth will receive a makeover. In six months time they will be designated as Special Economic Zones (SEZs) which will provide more incentives along with removing the hitches encountered by the EPZs.

At a workshop to deliberate on the draft policy with stake holders, the Assistant Minister of Trade, Omingo Magara said that the government intends to conclude the process of setting up the zones in the shortest time possible with a commitment that it wants them launched in six months.

The EPZs were set up primarily to supply textiles and clothing to the US markets under the African Growth and Opportunities Act (AGOA), but began experiencing challenges after the dismantling of the multi-fibre agreement in 2005, which proved to be beneficial to low cost Asian countries.

The main reason for changing the status as per the draft policy is that the current legal status of the EPZs do not allow value addition to primary products, development of industrial clusters and support to small and medium enterprises.

The SEZs on the other hand, will seek to correct these while diversifying the products and services by giving sector specific incentives and will be launched across the country starting with the Athi Basin Industrial Corridor.

Fibre2fashion News Desk - India


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