CPEC SEZs designed to become high-end commercial, technology and manufacturing hubs: Senior Pakistani official

China Economic Net

Islamabad: Twenty-two Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) are designed to become high-end commercial, technology and manufacturing hubs, a senior Pakistani official said.

Secretary Board of Investment (BOI) Fareena Mazhar mentioned that four CPEC SEZs were equipped with state-of-the-art facilities and business ecosystems and are ready for investment as Early Harvest projects.

Addressing a seminar organized by the BOI to promote investment and brief apprise the potential foreign investors on investment policies and opportunities in Pakistan, she apprised the participants about the initiatives undertaken by the government to facilitate investors.

Mazhar specifically referred to the Electronic Vehicles (EVs) Policy recently introduced by the government which offered lucrative set of incentives for various categories of EVs.

She shared that the major rationale for providing generous incentives and encouraging investments in EV Technologies in Pakistan is the ability of such technologies in curtailing the oil import bill which was currently the largest import commodity being imported into Pakistan.

Underlining some of the incentives in EV category, she pointed to the reduced custom duty on EV specific parts, reduced rate of value added tax and sales tax as well as custom duties on import of EVs.

The government, she stated, was committed to protect and encourage foreign investments and BOI had assured to facilitate the investors and help them execute their investments.

The Secretary BOI said that economic uplift was an area of priority of the incumbent government and Pakistan under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan had been undergoing bold economic reforms which had helped the country improve significantly in all sectors of economy.

Discussing the investment climate of the country, Fareena Mazhar elaborated that recent surveys indicated increased confidence of foreign and local investors due to liberal trade and investment policies of the government and that Pakistan was home to more than 1000 foreign companies.

The BOI Secretary shared that vision 2025 maps Pakistan to join the top 25 economies in the world leading to upper middle income country status by 2025 where the economy is targeted to grow over 8 percent between 2018 and 2025 while maintaining single digit inflation.

She also informed that Price waterhouseCoopers ranked Pakistan at No 20 in its projected list of 32 most powerful economies of the world in 2030.

Underscoring the strategic location of the country, the Secretary said that Pakistan was a promising regional hub and an important destination for trade and investment. She further added that a wide-based population pyramid and an expanding middle-class further make it a robust consumer market for foreign investors.

She appreciated the UAE government for organizing the Dubai Expo 2020 which is the largest meeting place offering countless opportunities for all to interact and explore new vistas of mutual cooperation including trade and investment opportunities.