Prime Minister Imran Khan laid the foundation stone of Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad today, which is being established under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
According to the details, this is the first Prioritized Special Economic Zone in Pakistan, with phase one to be completed in 2021.
Allama Iqbal Industrial City is strategically located on Motorway M-4 at Sahianwala Interchange Faisalabad.
This project is expected to create around 300,000 jobs and attract Rs. 400 billion investment in automobiles, value-added textiles, engineering, pharmaceuticals, food processing, chemicals, construction materials, FGCG, and packaging sectors.
Not only will it contribute to the GDP and increase exports, but it will also encourage import substitution.
In total, nine Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have been planned under the CPEC Industrial Cooperation Framework. Out of these, three have been declared as prioritized special economic zones by the governments of Pakistan and China, including the Allama Iqbal Industrial City of Faisalabad, Rashakai SEZ in KPK and Dhabajee SEZ in Sindh. Under CPEC industrial cooperation, the government of Pakistan expects a huge industrial relocation.
Federal Planning Minister Asad Umar, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood, Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar, Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and provincial ministers were also present on the occasion.
Addressing the ceremony, the PM termed the establishment of first SEZ in Punjab a giant leap towards the accomplishment of his government’s vision to alleviate poverty through industrialization. This will create job opportunities for the youth who will also be trained to cope with future needs. He said that industrialization is inevitable as the agriculture sector cannot cover the youth’s job needs.
The PM maintained that industrialization should follow the special focus on the enhancement of exports, agricultural productivity, and promotion of tourism to truly exploit the existing potential.
Felicitating the Punjab government and allied federal and provincial departments for expediting the work on the special economic zone, the PM said:
China is taking a keen interest in Pakistan, and like Vietnam, Pakistan should create a conducive atmosphere to attract the Chinese industry looking for relocation.
Imran said that the Chinese companies are not only ready to invest in Pakistan but are also willing to transfer technology to enhance productivity by establishing technical training institutes in the country.
Keeping in view the importance of CPEC, the government of Punjab has assigned high priority to this project and is providing all the necessary support for the early completion of the project.