Ahmedabad: Gujarat is set to claim more than one-third of the country’s total value of exports from special economics zones (SEZ) in 2008-09 as more companies, including Reliance Infrastructure Ltd, prepare to start full-fledged operations from these regions during the year.

Exports from Gujarat’s special economic zones are projected to be worth Rs35,000 crore in fiscal 2009, or 35% of the Rs1 trillion in estimated exports from all SEZs in the country, said Ravi Saxena, development commissioner, Kandla Special Economic Zone, Gujarat. In the following year, the state’s SEZ exports are expected to double to more than Rs70,000 crore.

Containers at the Mumbai Port. Total exports from SEZs across the country are seen at Rs67,088 crore for fiscal 2008

Much of the boost will come from the commissioning of the Reliance Infrastructure SEZ in Jamnagar, as it would account for nearly 40% of the exports from Gujarat’s SEZs.

“Reliance Infrastructure is likely to commission its refinery in September 2008, and as per the figures supplied to us by the company, its petroleum and petrochemical products would record exports of Rs14,080 crore in the financial year 2008-09 and Rs45,000 crore in 2009-10," said an official in the ministry of commerce who did not want to be identified.

Reliance’s pharmaceutical division is likely to export products worth Rs29 crore from this SEZ in fiscal 2009-10, he added.

In addition to Reliance Infrastructure’s facility, Suzlon Infrastructure Ltd is launching an engineering and products SEZ at Vaghodia in Vadodara; Zydus Infrastructure Pvt. Ltd, a pharmaceutical SEZ in Ahmedabad; Oil and Natural Gas Corp. Ltd at Dahej; and E Complex Pvt. Ltd at Pipavav.

As per figures available with the commerce ministry, Essar Hazira SEZ Ltd hopes to achieve Rs2,500 crore in exports in 2008-09 and Rs5,100 crore in 2009-10. Suzlon Infrastructure is expecting Rs274 crore in exports from its SEZ and E Complex is projecting Rs432 crore, both in 2008-09.

With 8,625ha marked for SEZs, Gujarat accounts for 33% of the total notified area for such regions in India. Currently, Gujarat has four functional SEZs—Surat Apparel Park SEZ, the multiproduct Surat SEZ, Kandla SEZ and Mundra Port and Special Economic Zone (MPSEZ).

SEZs are defined economic areas where the government gives tax and other fiscal incentives to companies in an effort to promote manufacturing and exports, encourage investment and create more jobs.

Currently, the Union government has approved 439 SEZs formally, while 138 regions have been given in-principle approval and 195 have been notified. Total exports from SEZs across the country reached Rs34,615 crore in 2006-07, up from Rs13,854 crore in 2003-04.