Cochin is the economic capital of Kerala by volume of trade, though, unlike other South Indian cities, Kochi has been slow to industrialize. In recent years the city has rejuvenated from its economic stagnation and has witnessed heavy investment, posting a GDP growth rate of 8.3%; 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 dependant on trade and retail activities. As in most of Kerala, remittances from non-resident Indians (NRI) s are 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 and Web Design Cochin-based services. 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 Info Park, Cochin Special Economic Zone and KINFRA Export Promotion Industrial Park operate in the outskirts of the city.
The establishment of a larger hi-tech business campus, the Smart City which encompasses the present InfoPark, is under final stages of discussion. Eloor, situated 17 km north of the city, is the largest industrial belt in Kerala, with more than 250 industries manufacturing a range of products like chemical and petrochemical products, pesticides, rare earth elements, rubber processing chemicals, fertilizers, zinc and chrome compounds, and leather products. A biotechnology campus is also under construction at Kalamassery.The Cochin Shipyard in Kochi is the largest shipbuilding facility in India.