Skip to main content

Industrial upgrading and SEZs along CPEC

*Click the Title above to view complete article on

If the local firms and workforce are not involved and trained, then knowledge related to technologies will not be transferred and we will continue to assemble things at the best.

21 hours agoAhsan Munir
CPEC has been termed as ‘Game Changer’ by incumbent and previous governments. It has been claimed that numerous special economic zones (SEZs) proposed along the CPEC route will have a positive effect on the economy of the country.

A vital role of SEZs (read export-oriented zones, where foreign firms are given special concessions and incentives) is to contribute to industrial upgrading and increased economic activity in host country. SEZs have played an important role in the industrial upgrading and technology transfer in newly industrialised East Asian economies, especially in South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia and the Philippines. These governments promoted tools which help in technological upgrading of various local industrial sectors, and being part of value chains of higher-end technological firms in SEZs is one such tool.

These East Asian economies ensured that foreign firms in SEZs only import high-end technology not existing in the country, transfer the knowledge associated with the imported technology and train local manpower on imported technologies. Also, these economies ensured that local firms were engaged in value chain of high-end firms established in these SEZs. This had spillover effects over whole of economy as new technologies and skills acquired in SEZs helped to increase overall quality, productivity of various industrial sectors of these economies.

Thus, it needs to be ensured that in SEZs being established along CPEC, our technical workforce-including engineers, are trained and employed, and our local firms are made part of value chain of foreign firms in SEZs. If the local firms and workforce are not involved and trained, then knowledge related to technologies will not be transferred and we will continue to assemble things at the best, as has happened in auto-sector which was liberalized in nineties but is still assembling autos.

Further, it needs to be ensured that technologies introduced by foreign firms in SEZs are neither low-tech, nor near obsolescence, or harmful to environment, as these factors inhibit industrial upgrading of host country. Foreign firms might bring low-tech industry with better production and management techniques, but these factors are not a source of sustained competitiveness in the international market. Also, near obsolete technology will leave the host country with SEZs which would fail in few years, and the host will be left with financial liabilities and the problem of disposing off the obsolete technology, which may also have adverse environmental effects.

Thus, technological upgrading is the need of hour for our industrial sector, which is, at present, more obsessed with grabbing incentives, waivers and special trading status at international level. The government should associate incentives and waivers with successful technological upgrading for better value-added products, both at sector and firm level; and accordingly form policies, at national and regional level, to ensure that CPEC SEZs help in technological upgrading and diversification of our local industry. Accordingly, key performance indicators (KPIs) need to be introduced to monitor the efficacy of SEZs in promoting industrialisation and employment in Pakistan, and exit mechanisms need to be in place to stop ill-designed programs at early stages.


Popular posts from this blog

SSG Commando Muddassir Iqbal of Pakistan Army

“ Commando Muddassir Iqbal was part of the team who conducted Army Public School operation on 16 December 2014. In this video he reveals that he along with other commandos was ordered to kill the innocent children inside school, when asked why should they kill children after killing all the terrorist he was told that it would be a chance to defame Taliban and get nation on the side. He and all other commandos killed children and later Taliban was blamed. Muddassir Iqbal has deserted the military and now he is  with mujahedeen somewhere in AF PAK border area” For authenticity of  this tape journalists can easy reach to his home town to interview his family members or   ISPR as he reveals his army service number” Asalam o Alaikum: My name is Muddassir Iqbal. My father’s name is Naimat Ali. I belong to Sialkot divison (Punjab province), my village is Shamsher Poor and district, tehsil and post office  Narowal. Unfortunately I was working in Pakistan army. I feel embarrassed to tell yo

CPEC Jobs in Pakistan, salary details

JOBS...نوکریاں چائنہ کمپنی میں Please help the deserving persons... Salary: Salary package in China–Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in these 300,000 jobs shall be on daily wages. The details of the daily wages are as follows; Welder: Rs. 1,700 daily Heavy Duty Driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Mason: Rs. 1,500 daily Helper: Rs. 850 daily Electrician: Rs. 1,700 daily Surveyor: Rs. 2,500 daily Security Guard: Rs. 1,600 daily Bulldozer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Concrete mixer machine operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Roller operator: Rs. 2,000 daily Steel fixer: Rs. 2,200 daily Iron Shuttering fixer: Rs. 1,800 daily Account clerk: Rs. 2,200 daily Carpenter: Rs. 1,700 daily Light duty driver: Rs. 1,700 daily Labour: Rs. 900 daily Para Engine mechanic: Rs. 1,700 daily Pipe fitter: Rs. 1,700 daily Storekeeper: Rs. 1,700 daily Office boy: Rs. 1,200 daily Excavator operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Shovel operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Computer operator: Rs. 2,200 daily Security Supervisor: Rs.

A ‘European Silk Road’

publication_icon Philipp Heimberger ,  Mario Holzner and Artem Kochnev wiiw Research Report No. 430, August 2018  43 pages including 10 Tables and 17 Figures FREE DOWNLOAD The German version can be found  here . In this study we argue for a ‘Big Push’ in infrastructure investments in greater Europe. We propose the building of a European Silk Road, which connects the industrial centres in the west with the populous, but less developed regions in the east of the continent and thereby is meant to generate more growth and employment in the short term as well as in the medium and long term. After its completion, the European Silk Road would extend overland around 11,000 kilometres on a northern route from Lisbon to Uralsk on the Russian-Kazakh border and on a southern route from Milan to Volgograd and Baku. Central parts are the route from Lyon to Moscow in the north and from Milan to Constanţa in the south. The southern route would link Central Europe with the Black Sea area and