Cochin Special Economic Zone

The Cochin Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) is an Industrial Park located at Kochi, Kerala. It is established in an area of 41.7 hectares (103.0 acres) in the Kakkanad area under the Thrikkakara Municipal Town. It is a multi-product zone, with units operating in Gems and Jewelry, Electronics Hardware, IT and Engineering Services, Food Processing and Textiles. Currently it has 135 units operating. In FY2009-10, the total exports stood at INR17124 crores,[1], ranking it the fourth in the country. It was originally started as one of the first Export Processing Zone in India, and was later converted into a Special Economic Zone in 2003, when that system was introduced[2]. It is operated by the Government of India, Ministry of Commerce, under the CSEZ Authority, and headed by a Developent Commissioner. It is the first integrated industrial park in Kerala.

Kochi having a natural and all-weather port is strategically positioned on the international ocean trade routes. It is well connected to the rest of the country by the road and rail networks. The Cochin International Airport, situated at a distance of 25 km offers air connectivity to the major cities in India, as well as to the middle east and South-east Asia. The financial and industrial activities of the state is concentrated in and around the city, and it is widely referred to as the Commercial Capital of the state.

The zone offers standard design factory floors, and plots of land for building custom buildings. There is a dedicated building for IT/ITES units, built with private participation. Power distribution, Telephone connectivity, Water supply and sewage processing are managed by the zone authority. There is on site customs facilities for easy processing of import and export.

CSEZ forms one of the major industrial centres of the state. Most of the manpower needs for the units in the zone targets skilled and unskilled labour, in contrast to the parks targeting IT/ITES industry. Industries such as jewellery, garments and rubber products mainly employ non technical labour force. Electronics units mostly utilize technically trained manpower, with a smaller number of engineers.

The land area of the current campus stands fully utilized[3]. In order to meet the growing demand for SEZ space from manufacturers, a proposal for expansion of the Zone by notifying another 125 acres of land in Cherthala Taluk, presently in the hands of KSIDC, has been mooted.



Most of the procedures for starting a unit is handled by the zone authority, except a few regulatory approvals from the government[4]. The Central Board of Excise and Customs have an office dedicated for the units in the CSEZ on the premises, and all the customs procedures for import and export can be done in the unit itself. Consignments are inspected and sealed on premises, and doesn't require customs processing at the port entry/exit points.

The zone operates a 25MVA/110KV electrical substation exclusively for the use within the zone. This is fed from the main grid of the Kerala State Electricity Board[5]. The zone is a licensee of power distribution, and supplies power to the units via the network of underground cables. The zone is exempt from the power-cuts normally applied to the consumers at the time of shortages.

BSNL have established a 1000 line 5ESS telephone exchange exclusively for the zone. It supports all the facilities available to PSTN, ISDN and DSL customers. The cellular operators have base stations on site, and the private telecom operators also provide telephone and high speed internet services. The international gateway of VSNL is located very close to the zone, and have established an access centre on the premises of the zone. The CSEZ authority have established an opticel fiber network that serve all the buildings, where the units can avail the connectivity for data and internet access[6]. The zone has also set up a video conferencing facility that could be availed by the units.

Muthoot Technopolis is the main IT Park building within the zone.

The Zone has its own integrated water supply system. Water is drawn from the Kadamprayar river and treated at a facility within the Zone. The system capacity is 1.5 million litres per day. A Common Effluent Treatment facility of one million litre per day capacity is established to process all the sewage and effluents let out from units. Zone units are required to send all their sewage and effluent to this treatment plant[7]. Units are encouraged to undergo ISO 14000 certification.

There is a warehouse admeasuring an area of 24000 sq.ft. for the temporary storage requirements of CSEZ units. The Zone has an efficient drainage network and an incinerator for disposal of solid waste within the zone. The Zone also has a 35m3 capacity bio-gas plant to treat vegetable/seafood waste.

The Muthoot Technopolis is an IT Park building within the zone, which offers standard fitted out and warm shell space for IT/ITES businesses.


The Govt. of India resolved to set up CEPZ, the predecessor of CSEZ, on 28 June, 1983. Construction started on 1 May, 1985 with an estimated cost of INR15 Crores. The official notification for the establishment happened on 26th Aug, 1986[8]. The first board meeting to consider the applications for setting up units was held on 7 June 1986. M/s D. V. Deo, a manufacturer of essential oils and oleoresins, conducted the first export in October, 1986.

The zone is originally envisaged to support industries operating in the fileds of Electronics, Computer Software, Readymade Garments, Spices, glass products, wood products, leather products, rubber products, coir-based products, food-processing, pharmaceuticals, light engineering goods, sports goods, printing, gems and jewellery, electrical applicances, hand tools, aautomobile parts etc. There was a minimum stipulated value addition of 30%, with an option to reduce it to 20% for deserving cases.

During the first year, i.e. 1986-87, the zone recorded a total export of INR94 lakhs, which grew to INR120.31 Crores in 1995-96. The net foreign exchange earnings in this period was INR200 Crores. The liberalization of the economy from 1991 boosted the performance of the zone considerably. By the next decade, the total exports has grown to INR696 Crores[3]. By the year 2009-10, the total turnover grew to INR17124 crores.

Even though the zone was envisaged to leverage on the cheap labour and the locally available raw materials to facilitate the units, it saw the establishment of a few units in advanced technologies. AMP Tools, a subsidiary of AMP Inc. set up a unit to produce advanced tooling, which commenced operation in July 1992. NortPak Fiber Optics set up a unit to manufacture fiber optic switches and multiplexers in April 1993. Sun Fibre Optics started manufacturing fiber optic networking products in April 1991.

In recent years, the norms for value addition had been changed, facilitating the operation of gem and jewellery manufacturing units. The leading exports had been from this class in the recent years, followed by Electronics Hardware. The traditional items like readymade garments and rubber products had been on comparative decline.[3]

[9] ==Units in CSEZ==

CSEZ currently have 135 units functioning within. Some of the bigger ones are listed below[9]

Sl No Unit Product
1 Hindustan Lever Ltd Hot Soluble Ready-to-Drink (RTD) Tea/Coffee Premix
2 HLL Lifecare Ltd Latex Products
3 K Mohan & Company (Exports) Pvt. Ltd. Textiles
4 Magnum Aviation Pvt. Ltd. Aircraft Engines
5 NeST Information Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Software
6 SFO Technologies Pvt. Ltd. Electronics Hardware
7 Suraj Diamonds & Jewellery Ltd Gems and Jewellery
8 Sutherland Global Services Pvt. Ltd. Software
9 TATA Ceramics Ltd. Bone China
10 Tyco Electronics Tools Pvt. Ltd. Tools
11 Tyco Electronics Tools Pvt. Ltd. Tools
12 Smart Engineering & Design Solutions Ship Design

See also


  1. ^ "Summary of Physical Exports from SEZs during 2009-10". Summary of Physical Exports from SEZs during 2009-10. Government of India. Retrieved 2010-10-11. 
  2. ^ "Notification No. 48/2003 - Customs (N.T.)". Govt of India. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  3. ^ a b c "Economic Review 2009, Chapter 8". Kerala Planning Board. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  4. ^ "How to Apply". Cochin Special Economic Zone. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  5. ^ "Power". Cochin Special Economic Zone. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  6. ^ "Bandwidth". Cochin Special Economic Zone. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  7. ^ "Water and Effluents". Cochin Special Economic Zone. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 
  8. ^ "Notification No. 397/86-C.E., dated 26-8-1986.". Govt of India. Retrieved 2010-11-18. 
  9. ^ a b "List of Units". Cochin Special Economic Zone. Retrieved 2010-11-20. 

Further reading

  • Manoharan, V M, Sankaranarayanan, K C(1996)[1]. An evaluation of the working of the export processing zones in India-A case study with reference to the Cochin export processing zone, Cochin University of Science and Techonology, Chapter IV

External links

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