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Cochin: at a Glance

 
 

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Economy

Kochi is the economic capital of Kerala by volume of trade; though, unlike other South Indian cities, Kochi has been slow to industrialise. In recent years the city has rejuvenated from its economic stagnation and has witnessed heavy investment, thus making it one of the fastest-growing second-tier metro cities in India. The economy of the city can be classified as a business economy with emphasis on the service sector. Major business sectors include gold and textile retailing, seafood and spices exports, information technology (IT), tourism, health services, banking, shipbuilding, and the fishing industry. The economy is mostly dependent on trade and retail activities. As in most of Kerala, remittances from non-resident Indians (NRI)s is a major source of income. The city also houses Kerala's only bourse—the Cochin Stock Exchange.

Kochi is a major destination for IT and ITES companies, ranked by NASSCOM as the second-most attractive city in India for IT-based services.[30] Availability of cheap bandwidth through undersea cables and lower operational costs compared to other major cities in India, has been to its advantage. Various technology and industrial campuses including the government promoted InfoPark, Cochin Special Economic Zone and KINFRA Export Promotion Industrial Park operate in the outskirts of the city. Several new industrial campuses for research, trade and development in biotechnology, electronic hardware and information technology are in various stages of construction in the suburbs of the city. Prominent among them are the Sobha Hi-tech city at Maradu and the SmartCity at Kakkanad, which on completion, would rank among the largest such ventures in the country. The Kochi International Trade and Exhibition Centre which is proposed at Kalamasserry, a suburb of Kochi, would rank among the tallest buildings in India at 500 meters (100 floors) upon completion.The Cochin International Airport is also in the process of setting up an aerotropolis at Nedumbasserry.

Eloor, situated 17 kilometres (10.5 mi) north of the city, is the largest industrial belt in Kerala, with more than 250 industries manufacturing a range of products including chemical and petrochemical products, pesticides, rare earth elements, rubber processing chemicals, fertilisers, zinc and chromium compounds, and leather products.

Kochi is the headquarters of the Southern Naval Command, the primary training centre of the Indian Navy. The Cochin Shipyard in Kochi is the largest shipbuilding facility in India. The Cochin fishing harbour, located at Thoppumpady is a major fishing port in the state and supplies fish to local and export markets. To further tap the potential of the all-season deep-water harbour at Kochi, an international cruise terminal and several marinas are being constructed.

Exports and allied activities are also important contributors to the city's economy. The Cochin Port currently handles export and import of container cargo at its terminal at Willington Island. A new international container transshipment terminal—the first in the country—is being commissioned at Vallarpadam. Kochi's historical reliance on trade continues into modern times, as the city is a major exporter of spices and is home to the International Pepper Exchange, where black pepper is globally traded. The Spices Board of India is also headquartered in Kochi.

Kochi also has an oil refinery—the Kochi Refineries (BPCL) at Ambalamugal. Central Government establishments like the Coconut Development Board, the Coir Board and the Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) have head offices located in the city.