BoI hails role of Chinese experts for the development of SEZs

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ISLAMABAD: Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary Azhar Ali Choudhry hailed the role of Chinese experts for the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to boost rapid industrialisation in Pakistan.

He said this in the second meeting of Pakistan China Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Cooperation (IC) held through Video Link, said a statement issued by BOI here on Friday.

The meeting was co-chaired by Department of International Cooperation NDRC Deputy Director General Li Xuedong, from the Chinese side, and Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary Azhar Ali Choudhry from the Pakistani side.

Welcoming the Chinese side Azher Ali Choudhry informed that the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will give the much-needed boost to rapid industrialisation in Pakistan.

He emphasised that “we must have a clear-cut roadmap for implementation of all the initiatives under industrial cooperation. Giving details of actions taken by the Pakistan side after the 6th JCC meeting, it was informed that after extensive efforts and consultations by the Board of Investment, government of Pakistan has approved an additional incentive package for setting up/relocation of industry in prioritised SEZs and Prioritised Special Economic Zones (PSEZs) as per recommended in the 6th JCC meeting. Pakistan side hoped that it would be instrumental in attracting Chinese investment in the zones.

BoI Secretary also expressed satisfaction that during the visit of Chinese experts who conducted training related to SEZs and Industrial Zone development, the Pakistani side has benefited a great deal from the experience and knowledge of the visiting delegation.

Li Xuedong appreciated the arrangements made by the BoI in facilitating the visits of two delegations from China. It was informed that the industrial cooperation is a long-term cooperation.

The expert delegations were comprehensively briefed on the six sites of prioritised SEZs. It was disclosed that they held intensive discussions with BOI and found that a lot of efforts were made by the Pakistan side.

The Chinese side showed satisfaction over the SEZ Law and the favourable incentives for investors. A number of Chinese investors have shown great interest in investing in M3 Industrial City in Faisalabad, Chinese SEZ Dhabeji, Sindh and Hattar SEZ in KP province.

It was suggested that based on the willingness of the companies, Pakistan side should develop mechanisms to encourage investment in the SEZs. The Chinese side, on the basis of their own assessment, agreed to initially cooperate in the development and promotion of three prioritised SEZs, M3 Industrial City in Faisalabad, Punjab, Chinese SEZ Dhabeji, Sindh and Hattar SEZ in KP province. Both sides agreed to promote SEZs by using the available mechanism of parent and sisters cities cooperation arrangements.

The Chinese side will cooperate, facilitate and encourage Chinese companies for establishing iconic projects to strengthen the Pak-China bilateral relations.