ISLAMABAD: China’s largest automobile manufacturer is all set to start the manufacturing of electric vehicles in Pakistan’s first private special economic zone (SEZ) located in Raiwind.
During an SEZ Committee meeting in Islamabad, the Board of Investment admitted the MG JW Automobile Pakistan Pvt Ltd as ‘zone enterprise’ in the JW-SEZ, Raiwind. The company would manufacture electric vehicles with an estimated foreign direct investment of Rs663 million and local investment of Rs637 million.
According to officials, BoI had received the ‘Zone Entry Application’ of MG JW Automobile Pakistan Pvt Ltd through its recently launched ‘SEZ MIS Module’, which acts as a one-window for SEZs in Pakistan. The module is designed to facilitate real investors, from all corners of the world, in getting admission into SEZs while ensuring complete transparency.
MG Pakistan is a joint venture between JW SEZ and SMIL — a subsidiary of SAIC Motor Corporation Limited. SAIC is a Chinese state-owned multinational automotive design and manufacturing company headquartered in Shanghai.
It is the largest auto manufacturer in China and the seventh largest in the world. In 2006, SAIC purchased the prestigious British brand Morris Garages (MG) and is now marketing automobiles under the MG brand all over the world.
Speaking on the occasion, BoI Chairman Atif Bokhari stated that initiation of the first private SEZ in Pakistan is a testament to the fact that the government is fully committed to facilitating private investors for speedy industrialisation in the country.
BoI Secretary Fareena Mazhar remarked that the launch of SEZ MIS Module is a leap into the digital future of SEZ-led Industrialization.
According to BoI, both local and foreign investors interested in Pakistan’s SEZs can now simply register online and submit their applications, which would automatically be shared with concerned authorities.
It is pertinent to mention that the government had recently implemented the Electric Vehicle Policy with a set of incentives offered to manufacturers and assemblers of vehicles. The incentives are reportedly encouraging investment in the auto sector.
The government reportedly plans that 30pc of all new cars, trucks, buses, vans and jeeps, and 50pc of all two-, three- and four-wheelers will be electric vehicles by 2030. By 2040, 90pc of vehicles on the road are envisioned as electric.
While Chinese carmakers are in favour of a direct shift to an EV future, Japanese automobile companies want the government to follow a route where both electric vehicles and hybrid (including plugged-in hybrid) electric vehicles are allowed to compete as is the case in countries like India, Thailand and Malaysia.