Published: July 20, 2017
KARACHI: In a recent chain of events, the Board of Investment (BoI) announced that the government was planning to establish 46 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route in the long run, stated a press release.
During the Pak-China Joint Cooperation Committee meeting held in Beijing, nine out of the 46 zones have been declared priority projects. Chinese companies are simultaneously working on numerous projects relating to infrastructure, energy and railways under CPEC.
All Pakistan Business Forum (APBF) President Ibrahim Qureshi highlighted that the products to be manufactured in the economic zones would not only be exported, but could also be sold in the local market. This will make the zones ideal for investors as Pakistan has a market of more than 200 million people.
“Chinese companies have enormous opportunities to relocate their businesses to these priority SEZs,” said Qureshi.
He pointed out that every zone had special benefits for the investors in terms of skilled workforce, location, raw material and linkages with other parts inside and outside of the country.
“China is extremely talented in developing zones, especially from 1985 to 1995 and from 2009 to 2015, and Pakistan can learn much from the Chinese,” he added.
Chairing a meeting to review the development of SEZs under CPEC, Federal Minister for Planning, Developing and Reform Ahsan Iqbal said provinces should make presentations regarding SEZs more elaborative so they could attract more investment.
Provinces are finalising their SEZ plans prior to the visit of Chinese experts, which is due this month.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2017