Senior Economic Advisor to Ministry of Finance H.A.C. Prasad on Thursday said post bifurcation, Visakhapatnam would emerge as a major hub for exports.

Dr. Prasad, who holds the rank of Additional Secretary, told The Hindu on the sidelines of an interactive programme organised by Federation of Indian Export Organisations (FIEO) and Vizagapatam Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) that the city would become Hyderabad of residual State of Andhra Pradesh.

He said Visakhapatnam with reliable connectivity would become a major IT hub. “This is the largest city of Seemandhra with several players already starting their units. Once it becomes a separate State, there is scope for further growth in various fields,” he said.

Asked to comment on the impact of package and special State status promised to AP, he said it was better to wait and watch to know the shape of things that would unfold in future.

Earlier, during the interaction, he parried a query on the relevance of Special Economic Zones after imposition of Minimum Alternate Tax (MAT). He said based on suggestions from the industry, the new government would initiate measures to rejuvenate the product-specific and multi-product SEZs.

Dr. Prasad said Visakhapatnam Port should increase its draft for handling of bigger vessels so as to reduce freight cost. “There is scope for growth in manufacturing sector, shipbuilding and repair and IT exports,” he said.

He cited how China was doing well in exports due to quality consciousness and cost effectiveness and urged the exporters to focus on new areas of manufacturing and marketing.

Chief Commissioner of Customs and Central Excise Deepa B. Dasgupta, Commissioner of Customs (Vizag-II) B.V. Shivanaga Kumari, VCCI vice-president A. Sreerama Murthy and honorary secretary M.V. Narayana Rao spoke. FIEO Deputy Director Dhananjaya Sharma proposed a vote of thanks.

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