SEZs to lift exports to $1.5bn per annum: Mian Kashif

LAHORE: The Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would help Pakistan enhance its exports by $1 billion to $ 1.5 billion per annum in the short-run through an effective and comprehensive planning.

“Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed all the concerned departments to remove hurdles in the way of developing SEZs and establish them on priority basis,” said Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) Chief Executive Officer Mian Kashif in a news statement issued on Sunday.

He said FIEDMC-a combination of public and private sectors partnership- would ultimately turn into an economic engine through the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiatives.

Fortunately, Kashif said almost hundred per cent plots in the M-3 Industrial Estate had already been sold out, while hundreds of units had become operational and were playing its role in providing exportable surplus in addition to accommodating thousands of workers.

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The industrial city would house more than 400 textile, steel, pharmaceutical, engineering, chemical, food processing, plastic and agriculture appliances units in addition to providing jobs to 250,000 workers, he added.

Kashif claimed the city was also expected to attract Rs400 billion worth local and foreign direct investment (FDI), which would help Pakistan to stabilize its economy.

He further said Faisalabad was strategically located in the heart of Pakistan and was flanked by two motorways passing from its eastern and western sides, adding this city had a unique privilege to contribute 60pc towards textile exports and 45pc towards total exports of the country.

The FIEDMC chairman further said investors from China, Turkey, Korea and Britain had pumped $1.10 billion in Pakistan and their growing confidence in Pakistan was also bringing more investors from their respective country to invest in SEZs.

He said these investors expressed their eagerness to explore the possibility of investment in diverse sectors of Pakistan especially in ceramics, chemicals, steel, food processing and automobiles.

Kashif said the premier had clearly directed them to focus on developing such industry in SEZs, which is based on export and import substitution to restrict the import bill.

He said a number of Chinese industries has started pumping investment in SEZs and the apparent reason is growing production cost in China. Another contributing factor to the country’s benefit is on-going trade war between the US and China, Kashif added.

He said industries operating in FIEDMC would have an immediate access to high-quality infrastructure, uninterrupted power supply, public facilities and support services along with simpler ease-of-doing-business (EODB).

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