Government to Establish Four Special Economic Zones in All Provinces: Asad Umar

The Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar says the government is focusing on setting up joint ventures in manufacturing.

“The PTI government is determined to establish four special economic zones (SEZs) in all provinces,” said the minister while talking to a delegation of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI). The business delegation inquired about their role in SEZs and the business relationship between Chinese and Pakistani investors.

“This will integrate the enterprises from both sides and it is important for Pakistani manufacturing industries to become part of the global value chain by partnering with the Chinese companies,” he added.

Talking to the delegation, the minister said that the CPEC Business Forum is established to create an interface between the government and business community, and improve the industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China. He said that representation from the private sector will increase the pace of industrialization under CPEC’s umbrella.

He said that the focus is to boost Pakistan’s industrial capacity through joint ventures in priority areas, relocation of labor-intensive export-led industry, SME collaboration and enhancement of vocational training capacity.

He noted that the infrastructure projects in the first phase of the CPEC are either completed or near completion. The second phase is related to agriculture and other sectors. The private sector can participate in CPEC projects under a public-private partnership. Provinces have been instructed to expedite development projects.

The minister asked the delegation of Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry to come up with a 3-year roadmap for industrialization and export sector strategy by March 2020.

The Board of Investment (BoI) is also going to amend the Special Economic Zone Act 2012 to facilitate industrial zones under the CPEC.

President RCCI said that an Expo Centre in Rawalpindi was a long-standing demand of the chamber.

The government should allocate old airport building for industrial exhibition center in Rawalpindi or provide space along with the proposed Ring Road project at Rawat.

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