October , 2023
Foreign Direct Investment in Jammu and Kashmir Soars After the Revocation of Article 370
23:21 pm

Shabir Bhat

It has been over four years since the historic decision to revoke Article 370 and Article 35A in Jammu and Kashmir. In this time, the region has undergone a remarkable economic transformation, experiencing substantial growth and positive developments in its industrial and business landscape.

After decades of violence, the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir has witnessed a profound shift in its economic activities following the abrogation of Article 370. This move brought about significant changes by subjecting Jammu and Kashmir to 890 central laws while eliminating 250 outdated state legislations. An additional 130 state laws have been modified. The removal of these regulatory barriers has created a conducive business environment, attracting foreign businesses to explore investment opportunities in the region.

Notable commercial entities such as the Lulu Group, Apollo, EMAAR, and Jindal have already invested in Jammu and Kashmir. Furthermore, the Union Territory has signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with five more entities, including Al Maya Group, MATU Investments LLC, GL Employment Brokerage LLC, Century Financial, and Noon E-commerce. Additionally, Magna Waves Pvt. Ltd., Emaar Group, and Lulu International have expressed their intent to invest through a Letter of Intent.

In 2021 alone, the Union Territory attracted investments totalling USD 2.5 billion, underscoring the vast opportunities and business potential in the region. Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi also engaged with delegates from the United Arab Emirates to explore business prospects in Jammu and Kashmir. He noted that private investment commitments in the Union Territory have exceeded `38,000 crore.

The government recognizes the pivotal role that investments play in economic development, as they lead to the accumulation of public wealth and advancements in science and technology. Consequently, a framework has been established to enhance the region’s manufacturing capabilities and foster economic growth.

Recently, the Jammu and Kashmir government has been placing special emphasis on attracting foreign direct investment and has hosted delegations from Gulf countries with the aim of encouraging investment in the region. The UAE-based Emaar group is set to construct a mega shopping mall worth ₹250 crore on the city outskirts, marking a significant milestone as the first direct foreign investment in Jammu and Kashmir.

In June of this year, India’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia, Dr. Suhel Ajaz Khan, engaged in extensive discussions with industry and trade associations in Kashmir to strategize and explore business opportunities between the two regions.

“The ambassador stressed the importance of strengthening bilateral trade between the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir and Saudi Arabia, recognizing the rich cultural heritage and entrepreneurial spirit of Kashmir. He also expressed his admiration for the region’s potential to contribute to the national economy,” said a spokesman for the Jammu and Kashmir government. Ambassador Khan highlighted the significant potential of Jammu and Kashmir products in the Saudi Arabian market.

It is worth mentioning that economic growth in Jammu and Kashmir had stagnated during the period of militancy. However, with each passing day, there is renewed hope for a thriving business environment in the region. 

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