Director, Board of Investment (BOI), Zulfiqar Ali, revealed that upon completion of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in 2030, Pakistan will receive an income three times its national budget.
The Special Economic Zones
While talking to the Lahore Economic Journalist Association (LEJA), Zulfiqar Ali said regarding the CPEC that, “It is on top of the business, economic, and employment creating activities of special economic zones (SEZs), and other industries,”
Zulfiqar Ali further informed that under Pakistan and China’s cooperation, work on developing the seven special economic zones (SEZs) has already started.
Three of these zones will be established in Sindh and Punjab while one of them will be established in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
According to Ali, other expected SEZs are:
- Rashakai KP
- Dhabeji Thatta
- Boston Economic Zones, Balochistan
- Allama Iqbal SEZ, Faisalabad
- Maqpoondas, Northern Areas
- Islamabad Capital Territory Model SEZ
- Federal Government Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel land at Port Qasim
- Mirpur Industrial Zone and Mohmand Marble City
- Federally Administered Tribal Areas
A Chance For Industrial & Economic Development
The BOI chief emphasized on the importance of the CPEC, comparing it as the second chance for the industrial and economic development of Pakistan after the 1960’s industrialization drive.
“The CPEC is as important for China as it is for Pakistan,” he said.
The BOI Director also informed that CPEC along with the Gwadar deep sea port, will enable the distance to the Jaboti deep sea port of Africa, to be reduced to 5 days.
He also added that it was encouraging to see that the government’s steps were paying off: The FDI has risen from $900 million in FY15 to $2.4 billion in FY17.
The national investment agency is targeting to increase the foreign direct investment (FDI) to $250 billion for infrastructure development and other industrial activities by 2025, including joint industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China.
Another outcome of the efforts made by the government is the addition of the early harvesting projects of the energy sector in the national grid. It has helped improve investors’ confidence in Pakistani market.
“It is expected that there will be no power outages in 2018 and by 2020 maximum energy will be added into the national grid,” Ali added.
In reply to a question, the BOI director assured that the government was not indulged in giving any special concessions to the Chinese investors.
“For the BoI and the government of Pakistan, every foreign investor is equal. Besides, same level of returns on investment is available to the local ones,” he added.