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SIMPLIFIER: GIFT CITY JOURNEY AND CHALLENGES



  May 30, 2024

SIMPLIFIER: GIFT CITY JOURNEY AND CHALLENGES



WHAT IS GIFT CITY?

GIFT City (Gujarat International Finance Tec-City) is India’s first and only international financial services hub located in Gujarat. It was conceptualized in 2007 and gained significant momentum after being approved as an operational International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) in 2015.

WHAT ARE THE KEY MILESTONES IN GIFT CITY’S DEVELOPMENT?

• 2007: Inception of GIFT City.
• 2014: Momentum gained with Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s support.
• 2015: Approved as India’s first operational IFSC.
• 2020: Establishment of the International Financial Services Centres Authority (IFSCA).
• 2022: Introduction of specific regulations for managing funds.

WHAT BUSINESSES ARE OPERATING IN GIFT CITY?

GIFT City hosts over 200 companies, including:

• 19 banking units.
• 25 insurance companies.
• Numerous brokerages and financial service providers.

Key players like the Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE), National Stock Exchange (NSE), and international banks such as Standard Chartered, State Bank of India, and JP Morgan have established operations there.

HOW DID GIFT CITY GAIN GLOBAL ATTENTION?

In 2023, following the collapse of Silicon Valley Bank, approximately $200 million was moved to GIFT City, highlighting its potential as an alternative international banking hub.

WHAT IS THE STATUS OF TRADING AND INVESTMENTS IN GIFT CITY?

• SGX Nifty Futures: Trading volume stands at approximately $1.8 billion daily.
• Alternative Investment Funds (AIFs): Total investments of around $3 billion with commitments amounting to $8.4 billion.
• Bank Funds Deployment: Totaling $60 billion.

WHAT IS THE RESIDENTIAL POPULATION IN GIFT CITY?

GIFT City has over 5,000 residential units occupied, housing around 15,000-20,000 people. The population is expected to grow to about 100,000 by 2025.

WHAT ARE THE MAIN CHALLENGES FACING GIFT CITY?

1. Talent Retention: Competing with cities like Mumbai, Singapore, and Dubai.
2. Infrastructure Development: Need for more schools, hospitals, and recreational facilities.
3. Connectivity: Improving transport links within and to other cities.
4. Cost Competitiveness: Addressing the high cost of living and business operations.
5. Global Visibility: Increasing recognition as a global financial hub.

WHAT SOLUTIONS ARE BEING PROPOSED TO OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES?

• Single Approval Mechanism: Simplifying the approval process by merging the requirements of the SEZ authority and the IFSCA.
• Infrastructure Improvements: Rapid development of essential services and facilities.
• Proactive Regulatory Support: Continued efforts by IFSCA to attract businesses and streamline operations.

WHAT IS THE FUTURE OUTLOOK FOR GIFT CITY?

Despite challenges, GIFT City is gradually shaping up as a gateway for global capital and financial services. Continued regulatory support and infrastructure development are essential to realizing its full potential.



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