Dubai-based port operator DP World is exploring opportunities to enhance its manufacturing presence in India by partnering with big electronics and tech companies for export and import activities. The company is the third to set up free trade zones in the country, after J Matadee and Arshiya. DP World currently has five gateway terminals across India’s coastline, including two in Jawaharlal Nehru Port Authority, and one each in Mundra, Kochi, and Chennai. The company’s Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) in Dubai is the largest free trade zone operator and developer in India, contributing 25% to Dubai’s GDP.
CEOs of DP World, Ray, stated that the company’s facilities in Chennai and Mumbai are strategically located as trading and manufacturing hubs, serving as gateways for the rest of the country. The free trade zone caters to enterprises in various industries including automobile, pharmaceuticals, chemical, FMCG, and tech. DP World has invested significantly in these zones, with an investment of Rs 1,200 crore in Mumbai and Rs 700 crore in Chennai. The company also plans to invest Rs 85 crore in its upcoming free trade facility in Kochi. In August, DP World announced its plan to invest $510 million in a new container terminal at Kandla port in Gujarat.
The establishment of free trade zones by DP World in India presents an opportunity for big electronics and tech companies such as Apple and Foxconn as they expand their manufacturing footprint in India. The free trade zones offer a streamlined process that reduces time and cost for customers. The Indian government has been encouraging companies to set up manufacturing operations in the country, aiming to transform India into a manufacturing hub. DP World’s presence in India’s free trade zones aligns with these objectives and further strengthens the country’s manufacturing capabilities.