India’s GIFT IFSC Poised to Be a Global Financial Services Hub

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Business Wire IndiaIndia’s first International Financial Services Centre (IFSC) at the Gujarat International Finance Tech City (GIFT City) made its global mark, being named among the ‘top emerging business hubs in the world’. The latest Global Financial Centers Index, London in September 2020 mentions the IFSC at GIFT City among 15 centers which globally, are likely to gain greater significance over the next 24 months.
 
There are three different structures of IFSCs: Full-service finance centre (Tokyo and New York), which largely support a large domestic economy; Offshore financial centers (Mauritius) which may not have a robust domestic economy but have international access and acceptance. The third, which India has adopted, is the hybrid structure (Singapore), which supports both, local and global business. Effectively, GIFT IFSC will provide an ideal for both, global and domestic players.
 
Going beyond just being Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s dream project, GIFT IFSC empowers the Indian Banking and Financial Services and Insurance (BFSI) sector. It enables Indian business organizations to compete with global players – without the need to set up an office at global finance centers like Singapore, Dubai or London. The recent past has seen it expand areas and activities which can be based within the IFSC, further empowering India’s competitiveness across global platforms.
 
Though India is a late entrant in the IFSC space, GIFT IFSC has made its presence felt at a time when there are more opportunities in the financial world; and India offers huge potential that can be leveraged. The game-plan of tapping into the domestic economy and the Indian diaspora will pay rich dividends, and will underscore the growth of GIFT IFSC.

Over the past year, announcements which have created a buzz in India’s business network include setting up an International Bullion Exchange (IBE) within GIFT IFSC City, with the promise of making India an important hub in global bullion trade. Similarly, approval to the Stock Holding Corporation of India (SHCIL) to start its custodial services in GIFT City too augurs well for India’s global trade. An international logistics park being set up within GIFT City seeks to boost FDI and bullion trades.
 
The recent changes in tax regulations such as waiver of several taxes like GST, dividend distribution tax and capital gains tax for entities operating in the IFSC, have ensured a tax and supportive regulatory framework at GIFT IFSC, comparable to any global financial center.

These announcements come in the backdrop of GIFT IFSC reflecting growth in not just the global financial circuit, but also as a global trade and business hub, creating large trade volumes. With the Indian economy in resurgence mode, especially post the pandemic, the positive steps reinforce the role of Indian financial services across the global marketplace, and GIFT IFSC is at the centre of it all.
 
Created with the aim of providing a level playing field for Indian business in the global markets, GIFT IFSC offers flexibility in financial transactions with lower taxes and easier regulations as compared to other Indian hubs. It offers trading in equities, currencies, and commodities, as well as a listing of international bonds. Future plans for GIFT IFSC include creation of a fintech hub, another area which shows potential is aircraft leasing.
 
As India’s first multi-service special economic zone with IFSC status, GIFT IFSC caters to the large financial services market as also forex and commodities. It offers world-class infrastructure and hi-tech facilities. Within the IFSC, Hiranandani Signature is the first fully functional commercial space that incorporates green and sustainable design as per global best practices.
 
GIFT IFSC is gradually living up to its potential of being an investment gateway for India. Apart from providing a global financial platform, it also provides easy access to the fast-growing Indian economy for global investors. Volumes will witness fast growth as domestic players are encouraged to commence their global operations from GIFT IFSC.
 
The way ahead will be to work on building the ecosystem which ensures that the IFSC is on way to success. With a reinvigorated regulator and regulatory framework, it will go a long way in positioning India as an international financial center.

For those who will be part of this process at GIFT IFSC, Hiranandani Signature offers ‘ready to move in’ commercial space options. It facilitates ‘early mover advantage’ which will help grow business opportunities. GIFT IFSC is an ideal launch-pad for global trade activities, and Hiranandani Signature offers the perfect ‘plus and play’ platform to tap into the vibrant global market.