Tuesday, December 14, 2021
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BoI to sign treaties as per its new template

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Investment (BoI) is all set to sign treaties with foreign countries in line with the new Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) template, which was approved by Prime Minister Imran Khan last week, sources said.

The new BIT template was developed in consultation with all the stakeholders and vetted by the Law and Justice Division and the Attorney General of Pakistan.

All the new BITs would be negotiated in accordance with the new template in order to minimise the risk of international arbitration and to provide a policy space to government to enforce economic policies.

In the past, the federal government had been facing difficulties in finalising investment treaties with some countries due to the Reko Diq case.

The BoI’s main priority is to attract investment in various sectors from developed countries including the United States and China, and also to encourage overseas Pakistanis to invest in the country, so that they can take advantage of these large investment opportunities.

The investment opportunities are already created in various sectors including textile, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), agriculture, agro-industry, automobile sector, logistics, and sports.

A detailed study of Pakistani BITs has been carried out – out of 53 BITs signed with 48 countries, the BIT with Indonesia was unilaterally terminated by Indonesia in 2016, 16 BITs are signed only, and are ineffective due to non-ratification, 23 are ratified BITs, which have completed the initial duration of 10, 15 or 20 years and can be terminated by giving notice of prescribed duration and the remaining nine ratified BITs cannot be unilaterally terminated at present.

However, nine BITs can be terminated or reformed by engaging the respective countries bilaterally.

Chinese companies have brought so far $260 million of investment in Rashakai, Special Economic Zone (SEZ) within the steel sector to enhance the productivity and growth in the local industrial sector.

The Chinese and local companies are ready to go for Joint Ventures and 60 local 13 Chinese companies in various sectors are registered and ready to sign the JVs agreement.

For achieving the agenda of bringing more Chinese investment in Pakistan, the BOI has appointed eight honorary investment counsellors in various potential regions of China.

Four SEZs, including Rashakai Nowshera, Dhaba, Bostan, and Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad had also been approved, and are on the top priority of the government to develop these zones for creating better business opportunity for foreign investment.

The government says that all of these SEZs would have far-reaching socio-economic impact in the region by attracting more investment, spurring industrialisation, creating employment in the industry, and ensuring export led-growth, she said.

Pakistan’s proximity with China will allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic advantage to enhance bilateral trade and economic connectivity in the coming years.

The BoI promoted establishment of all these SEZs with the goals of capitalising on investment inflow under the CPEC, inclusive economic development in the provinces, creation of job opportunities, industrial development, and export generation in Pakistan.

The government had set a target to complete the reforms in the BoI, through Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI) in district, provincial and at the country level.

The reform process will be completed in three tiers including mapping, and analysis.

In BoI’s new Investment Promotion Strategy 2021-23, the Foreign Direct Investment target of Rs3.7 billion by 2021-22 and $4 billion for 2022-23.

Chinese firm to invest $360 million in Rashakai special economic zone

Century Steel (Pvt) Ltd, a Chinese company will invest $360 million in the Rashakai Special Economic Zone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa under CPEC.

CPEC Project Director Dr. Liaquat Ali Shah said that all the utility facilities including electricity, gas, water, and others for Rashakai Special Economic Zone would be completed by the end of 2021.

He said that in the first phase, the Chinese iron and steel conglomerate became the first foreign enterprise to establish its plant in the Rashakai Special Economic Zone under the CPEC with a planned investment of $50 million. He said that industrial relocation to Pakistan under the CPEC is our policy and other foreign companies are ready to invest in Pakistan.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a framework of regional connectivity. CPEC will not only benefit China and Pakistan but will have a positive impact on Iran, Afghanistan, India, the Central Asian Republic, and the region.

The CPEC project director said that 40 acres of land has been allocated to Century Steel Ltd owned by Fuzhou Julitaihe Inter­national Company of China in Rashakai SEZ. Due to its location on the motorway and proximity to the Torkham border and Central Asia, the Rashakai SEZ is expected to be the game-changer not just for Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa but the whole region.

The project director also said that the 1,000-acre zone will create 200,000 direct and indirect jobs and is expected to attract Rs347 billion in investment.

China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a massive bilateral project to improve infrastructure within Pakistan for better trade with China and to further integrate the countries of the region.

KP Govt To Establish 10 New Economic Zones, 19 Small Industrial Estates

PESHAWAR: Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government would establish 10 new Economic Zones and 19 Small Industrial Estates during the period of next 10 years to promote industrial sector on sustainable basis in the province.

Similarly, two more Special Economic Zones would be setup in the next five years under the new Industrial Policy 2020 while small industrial estates of Abbottabad, D.I.Khan, Bannu, Dara Adam Khel, Shah Kas and Mardan would be declared Special Economic Zones.

This was told during a meeting held here with Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Mahmood Khan in the chair the other day, said an official handout issued here on Tuesday.

The forum formally approved an action plan for implementation of new Industrial Policy 2020, besides granting approval for constituting a 15-members implementation and oversight committee to be headed by the Special Assistant on Industries to monitor and supervise the overall implementation process of the said Industrial Policy.

Briefing the forum about various aspects and salient features of the Industrial Policy 2020, it was informed that under the policy concrete steps would be taken for the revival of closed/sick industries in the province whereas provision of uninterrupted utilities to industrial units would also be ensured.

In order to utilize indigenous resources in industrial sector, 10 new economic zones would be setup in the various areas of the province including Chitral, Ghazi, Daraban, Swat, Buner and others.

It is pertinent to mention here that a number of economic zones had already been inaugurated including Rashakai Special Economic Zone, Jalozai Economic Zone, Nowshera Economic Zone (extension), Mohmand Economic Zone (Marble City) and D.

I.Khan Economic Zone.

Moreover, sector specific economic zones would also be setup on various districts of the province. Construction of approach roads to industrial units, efficient waste management and development of other allied infrastructure were also the part of new Industrial Policy.

The meeting was further informed that credit incentives would be extended to support and encourage existing and new entrepreneurs in the province, credit incentives would be extended to them. State of the art training centre would also be established at Dara Adam Khel to promote cottage industry in the province.

Speaking on the occasion, the chief minister said that the provincial government was taking pragmatic steps to create employment opportunities for people by promoting Industrial and investment activities in the province.

He said that electricity produced at local level through hydel power projects was being provided to industries on concessional rates. He added that investors were being provided all the facilities through one window service which was an important development of the provincial government towards good governance strategy.

The chief minister directed all the concerned departments that NoCs required for setting up new industries should be issued well in time to avoid unnecessary delay in the establishment of new industrial units under the policy.

Special Assistant to CM on Industries Abdul Karim Khan and Additional Chief Secretary Shahab Ali Shah, Secretary Industries Humayun Khan, Secretary Energy & Power Zubair Khan, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) board of Investment & Trade, Mohsin Daud and other relevant senior officials attended the meeting.

RSEZ will prove to be game changer for Peshawar valley, Senate told

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan has said Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) will prove to be a game changer for the Peshawar valley.

Replying to questions during question Hour, he said the government is taking numerous initiatives aimed at achieving the country’s developmental goals.

He said the government took effective measures to contain the spread of corona pandemic. He said the construction sector was uplifted during the pandemic which provided support to the country’s economy.

He said the government’s Ehsaas program is also significantly contributing in the alleviation of poverty  and the program has been successful in improving the living standard of the underprivileged segment of the society during the corona pandemic.

The house has passed two bill these include the Mutual Legal Assistance (Criminal Matters) (Amendment) Bill, 2021 and the Regulation of Generation, Transmission and Distribution of Electric Power (Amendment) Bill, 2021.

Responding to a calling attention notice, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said the procedure of issuance of computerized national identification cards by NADRA is very strict. He said NADRA is fully vigilant and issuing the computerized national identification cards after the proper scrutiny of papers and documentation.

Responding to another calling attention notice, Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said Pakistan is partner for peace in Afghanistan. He said Pakistan has rendered unprecedented sacrifices in war against terrorism and registered remarkable successes.

The Senate session has been prorogued.

CPEC: Pakistan govt approves Rs 16 billion for 4 SEZs

ISLAMABAD, July 17 (Gwadar Pro) The Pakistani government has approved the Principal Component 1 (PC-1) worth more than Rs 16 billion for provision of gas and electricity to four Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Senate was informed on Friday afternoon.

The Senate – the Upper House of the parliament – was told that nine SEZs had been identified under the CPEC cooperation of industrial development.

Minister of State for Parliamentary Affairs Ali Muhammad Khan said that out of nine CPEC SEZs, four SEZs were at the advanced stage of development including Rashakai SEZ, Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad, Bostan SEZ and Dhabeji SEZ.

He said that other SEZs were including Model ICT SEZ, Islamabad, Pak Steel Mills SEZ, Karachi, Moqpandas SEZ Gilgit Baltistan, Mirpur SEZ, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Mohmand Marble City, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

He said that the government has approved PC-1 worth over Rs16 billion for the provision of gas and electricity to the above four SEZs, which are in an advanced stage of development.

He said that Rashakai SEZ is being set up at 1000 acres of land and 10 Megawatt (MW) of electricity was provided last October as a short-term arrangement and 50MW to be provided by June 2022, adding that the gasification of the zone will be completed by December 2021. The minister said that Rashakai SEZ is a game-changer for the Peshawar valley.

In a written reply, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar said that Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad being established at 2,800 acres of land and so far, 585 acres of land has been allotted to 24 enterprises with a planned investment of Rs 136.7 billion, including foreign direct investment (FDI) of $ 5.21 million.

While Dhabeji SEZ is underway and work is in progress for the provision of 13.5 MMCFD gas, 5 MW electricity will be provided by December 2021 as a temporary connection. For Bostan SEZ (200 acres) 5 MW of electricity will be provided by December 2021 as temporary connection.

An amount of Rs. 731 million approved by the Departmental Development Working Party (DDWP) on first February 2021 and has been allocated in Public Sector Development Programme (PSDP) 2021-22 for gasification of the zone and it will be completed in 18 months’ time from the release of funds to SSGCL.

‘BoI to create $50b FDI opportunities by 2023

ISLAMABAD:

The Board of Investment (BoI) is actively pursuing strategies to create opportunities for $50 billion Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the country by 2023 under its new investment plan, an official of the board told APP on Sunday.

“The BoI’s main priority is to attract investment in various sectors from big economies of the world, including the United States and China and also to encourage overseas Pakistanis to invest in the country so that they can take advantage of these large investment opportunities,” Federal Secretary BoI Fareena Mazhar told the APP in an exclusive interview.

The secretary said that investment opportunities would be created in different sectors including textile, Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), agriculture, agro-industry, automobile, logistics and sports.

She said that Chinese companies have brought $260 million of investment in the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) within the steel sector to enhance the productivity and growth in the local industrial sector.

To achieve the agenda of bringing more Chinese investment in Pakistan, she said, the BOI has appointed eight honorary investment counselors in different potential regions of China.

“We appointed these people from business class and other related experiences. This will play an essential role to update the Chinese business fraternity about potential Joint Ventures (JVs), other investment opportunities, and the rewarding incentives offered to foreign investors in Pakistan,” Fareena said.

She said that the appointment of these people are part of the government strategy to enhance Pakistani and Chinese investment for the economic growth of the country.

She said that Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) would set a new direction for modern industrialization in Pakistan and bring huge FDI in the country.

Through this milestone in the economic history of the country, the government wants to provide a conducive business environment for attracting FDI in the country, she said.

Fareena said that four SEZs, including Rashakai Nowshera, Dhaba, Bostan, and Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad had also been approved and would be the top priority of the government to develop these zones.

The secretary said that the development of Rashakai SEZ had a huge strategic implication because it is closer to resource-rich Central Asian Republics (CARs) and also plays a role in the economic integration of the region.

All of these SEZs would have a far-reaching socio-economic impact in the region by attracting more investment, spurring industrialization, creating employment in the industry, and ensuring export led-growth, she said.

She said that the completion of Rashakai SEZ would promote ease of doing business in the country and would facilitate the local and foreign investors.

Fareena said that Pakistan’s proximity with China would allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic advantage.

She said the BOI promoted the establishment of all these SEZs with the goal of capitalizing on investment inflow under CPEC, inclusive economic development in the provinces, creation of job opportunities, industrial development, and export generation in Pakistan.

Replying to another question, she said that Rashakai SEZ held a unique competitive advantage due to its proximity to the first juncture of the CPEC route, and its significant resource and manufacturing base in the region.

She said that Pakistan acquired the $3 billion FDI in the previous FY year 2020-21 and the government was committed to bringing more foreign investment in the potential sector in 2021-22.

The secretary said the government had set a target to complete reforms in BOI, through Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative (PRMI) in district provincial, and at the country level.

She said that according to the new policy strategy, the BOI also aspires to generate a number of new leads tracked in the board’s newly introduced Investment Relation Management System (IRMS) for enhancing the FDI in the coming years.

She said the investment strategy also includes priority sectors which have been selected through a structured sector scanning process.

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