Pakistan to provide all facilities to CPEC SEZs: SEZA chief

Lahore: Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) Chairman S M Naveed has said that the Pakistani government will provide all facilities to the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

S M Naveed, expressed these views in a think-tank session of Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) here. Naveed is himself a former PCJCCI President.

The SEZA chief maintained that SEZs could play a vital role in improving the regional connectivity with regard to trade.

“We should unite to improve connectivity and trade among countries in the region. Punjab’s Special Economic Zones are a hub of key industrial sectors like; textile, agriculture, food processing, automobiles and services,” he highlighted.

Naveed and asserted that around 10 zones were currently functional in Punjab which included M3 Industrial City, Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Rahim Yar Khan Industrial Estate, Bhalwal Industrial Estate, JW China Pakistan, Vehari Industrial Estate and others.

“We are focusing to provide maximum support to all the projects by providing gas, water, electricity and other facilities to factories in industrial parks. We are also providing business enterprises with suitable policy packages to attract potential investors<” he mentioned.

He added that with the opening of various industrial zones under CPEC, the volume of regional trade would expand manifold.

On the occasion, the PCJCCI President Moazzam Ali Ghurki said the SEZs provide economic connectivity between resource-starving and resource-rich countries.

“This kind of regional integration enhances peace, promotes tranquility and ensures economic prosperity for the whole region,” he remarked.

The PCJCCI Senior Vice President Fang Yulong attended the session online and shared his views by saying that Pakistan offered a big market for investment in energy, automobile, textile, surgical equipment, infrastructure, engineering, agriculture, minerals and Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). “The focus is also on renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, thermal, and bio-gas,” he added.

He underlined that Pakistan welcomed Chinese investment in all the sectors to take advantage of liberal and forward looking investment policy. “SEZs industrial units would enjoy a 10-year exemption from custom duties and taxes for all capital goods imported into Pakistan for the development, operations and maintenance,” he observed.

In his comments, PCJCCI Vice President Hamza Khalid said that there was a dire need to take benefits of the resources and provide maximum support to the zone developers in order to achieve the targeted goal.

Salahuddin Hanif, Secretary General PCJCCI added that in this regard, Pakistan was looking at other country’s experience which had drawn arbitration rules from the West, and currently intending to replicate China’s experience of cluster development.