Surat is the commercial capital of Gujarat and a major economic hub of India. Diamond
polishing and textiles are the two pillars of Surat's economy. It is smack in the
centre of the country's thriving diamond polishing industry, which cut 92 per cent
of the world's diamond pieces (albeit smaller stones) and earned India $15 billion
in exports. Although this industry was established in 1901, it was not until the
1970s that the diamond cutters began exporting stones to the US.
Acclaimed for its world-class synthetic textiles, Surat also goes by the name 'Manchester
of the East'. It has excellent roads. About 80 per cent of the world's finished
diamonds are cut and polished in the city. NCAER has declared Surti households
the most prosperous in the country. Jari, the oldest business of Surat, has made
the city (with 80000 embroidery units) the world's embroidery capital.
Surat is also home to many large industrial units, such as the Reliance petrochemicals
plant, Essar's 10 million tonne steel plant, KRIBHCO fertiliser plant, L&T engineering
unit, gas processing plant of ONGC, NTPC gas power plant (all at Hazira), and ABG
Shipyard (shipbuilding yard) and Ambuja Cement (grinding unit) at Magdalla port,
and the Torrent mega power plant and GIPCL located at Kamrej.