India's Reliance Industrial To Build Manufacturing, Services Hub For Global Companies

'Special Economic Zone' would be modeled after China's free trade zone.

NEW DELHI (AP) - India's top business conglomerate, Reliance Industrial Ltd., said Monday it would invest 250 billion rupees ($5.5 billion) in building a manufacturing and services hub for global companies that will be modeled on China's free trade zones.

Foreign companies will be exempted from taxation for setting up factories and facilities in what would be called a Special Economic Zone - a concept promoted by the Indian government to emulate China's success in drawing investment by multinational companies.

The Special Economic Zone, spread over 25,000 acres of land in the state of Haryana adjoining New Delhi, would have a cargo airport and a 2,000 megawatt power generation plant, the company said.

Reliance Industries' Chairman Mukesh Ambani said the company wants to build the world's most competitive manufacturing and services hub, which ''meets the standards of Fortune 500 companies.''

''We have a huge response. The global corporations are looking at India. What we need in India is a platform whereby their investment is safe,'' he told reporters after the company signed an agreement with the government of Haryana state that will provide the land.

About 15 percent of the land would be allocated to develop residential buildings. There are also plans for shopping malls, hotels, theme parks and sporting facilities, including a golf course for international tournaments.

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