Jump-start of SEZs is gov’t top priority: Bakhtyar

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ISLAMABAD, Oct 23 (APP):Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar Tuesday said the government was focusing on development of industrial sector of the country and jump-starting Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be its top priority.
Talking to a Chinese delegation headed by China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) Chief Financial Officer, Dong Futang, who called on him here, he said the area remained ignored in the past and none of the zones were taken off.
Secretary Planning, Zafar Hassan, Member Infrastructure and
Connectivity, Malik Ahmad Khan, Project Director CPEC, Hassan Daud and other
officials were also present on the occasion.
Bakhtyar appreciated the role of CRBC in the implementation of Karakorum Highway and other infrastructure projects. He underlined that the Chinese firm would continue its efforts to ensure efficient
execution of SEZ.
CRBC, a Chinese state-owned company has already signed a memorandum of understating and an engagement agreement with Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to jointly develop Rashakai SEZ.
Bakhtyar further stressed on a clear timeline and business model for the development of SEZs at Rashakai as a first zone which would be followed by others.
He emphasized that the developer should focus on the
relocation of Chinese heavy industry and investment from local as well as
foreign enterprises to ensure value addition of the products and import
substitution.
Secretary Planning, Zafar Hasan also emphasized on
developing a state-of-the-art infrastructure in order to facilitate relocation
of Chinese companies and ensure a level playing field for local as well as
foreign investors.
Dong Futang said all out efforts and experiences would
be applied to develop Rashakai SEZ at par with Chinese developed zones.
He further said locals would be preferred for
employment in development and operation stages. Pakistan’s natural resource
potential would be fully utilized to make this project win-win for all, he
added.