Govt planning to establish 46 SEZs along CPEC route

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ISLAMABAD, Jul 18 (APP): The government is mulling over
establishing 46 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) alongside the route of
China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Nine Zones have already been declared prioritized during the
6th JCC meeting held in December, 2016, while the remaining zones
would be set up under long term plan of CPEC, said spokesman of
Board of Investment, Shahjahan Shah.
Talking to APP, he expressed the commitment of government of
Pakistan to nominate a working group to deliberate on how to build
the zones.
He expressed the views that either Chinese or Pakistani
companies could build the zone or the project could be compeleted jointly by
both sides.
The spokesmen said that products manufactured in these
zones could not only to be exported but these would also be available in the
local Pakistani market, where they were not required to pay any
customs duty.
This makes the zone ideal for investors as Pakistan has a big
market of 200 million plus people.
The model can be primarily export oriented. But in case of
China import substitution also has a lot of potential, he added.
The Government has already given its commitment to provide all
utilities and security to the investors in these zones.
He pointed out that each zone had its special features for
investors in terms of its location, raw material, skilled work force
and linkages with other parts of the country and outside the
country.
China has rich experience in developing zones particularly
from 1985 to 1995 and from 2009 till 2015 and Pakistan could learn
much from Chinese experience.
He expressed the hope that Chinese Experts Group must had a
very successful site visit of Rashakai Special Economic Zone and
bilateral meetings with the authorities concerned in KP Province.
He highlighted the main features of incentive package devised
for the identified priority SEZs and invited Chinese side to convey
their view point if any for further discussion.
He emphasized that Chinese companies had had huge opportunities
to relocate their businesses to these priority SEZs. Pakistan side
is also expecting feedback of Chinese Experts on this visit.
The potential of proposed Mirpur Zone in terms of its
connectivity with Highway, Railway and Airport as well as the
expected industries to be parked in this zone based on local
endowment was also deliberated through the presentation.
He told that the representative of Gilgit Baltistan
underscored the strategic location, scenic beauty and hospitality of
the people Gilgit Baltistan.
The mineral potential and locational advantages were gate way for
Central, East and South Asia, he added.
He also appraised the house that this zone was situated exactly
on the CPEC route which was ancient Silk Route.
The zone has huge comparative advantage for manufacturing and
processing of mineral fresh fruits and vegetables, wood, herbs and
trout fish. Maqpoon Dass SEZ can also acts as logistic hub of the
North.