Chairman China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa has urged the investors from Singapore to tap the huge opportunities in the newly established Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan.
Speaking at a webinar on Investment Opportunities in CPEC-related SEZs, organised jointly by Pakistan High Commission and the Embassy of China in Singapore, on Thursday, Bajwa said that Singapore investors can benefit from Pakistan’s potential.
“I invite you to come in here for the win-win opportunity as we have a huge young human resource and cheaper labour force,” he said. Bajwa said,”We are hungry for industrialisation and development,” he added.
The chairman CPEC Authority said that Singapore could be a role model for economic development for Pakistan and the Pakistan government wants to get expertise of Singapore investors especially in industrialisation.
Speaking about the importance and achievements of the mega project, the chairman CPEC Authority pointed out that CPEC is a lifeline for Pakistan. The first phase, he said, is almost complete which was largely meant to bridge the energy and infrastructure gaps in the country.
“We are now moving towards the second phase of CPEC with a range of sectors including industrialisation, tourism, science technology, and agriculture”, he added. He said some 37 Special Economic Zones have been identified in Pakistan out of which 9 were prioritised and 4 were shortlisted as the most important ones.
Rashakai Economic Zone with a land cover of over 1000 acres of land has already been launched where a Chinese company Century Steel has established its industry which is likely to start production within a year, he said, adding 25 more companies are also lined up to set up their factories in the zone.
Furthermore, he said the Allama Iqbal Zone in Faisalabad is also functional where a number of new industries are being constructed. Bajwa said the foreign investors could tap the potential especially in textile and garments here, besides pharmaceutical industry was also very much suitable here.
Similarly, he said, another SEZ near the port city of Karachi was also being launched soon. Gwadar Free Zone Phase-I, comprising 60 acres, was also completed and about 46 investors invested in these zones. He said there are about 12 factories in these free zones and out of the total, construction work on 03 factories has been completed so far.
The free zone phase-II, with a land cover of about 2,200 acres, would be completed by September this year and it would help to attract more foreign as well as local investment, he added. He said that the free zones project under CPEC would be completed in four phases and the project would be fully materialised by 2030, which would play a vital role in economic development of the country.
He said the prime minister has recently ground broken the second phase. He said Gwadar is very fast connecting with the north side of the country as construction work on the Western Route of CPEC is in progress.
Bajwa said Boston SEZ is another prioritised zone which is located near Quetta. Quetta is the epicentre of mines and minerals and investors of this sector could get the opportunity to set up their plants here. He informed that the Iran border is very near to the Gwadar Port city and formal trade of Iran through Gwadar port would start soon.