ISLAMABAD: A delegation of China Road & Bridge Corporation (CRBC), led by its Vice President Sun Yaoguo, met Board of Investment Chairman Atif Bokhari on Friday to review development progress and marketing plans for Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ).
The CRBC chief informed that development work on Rashakai SEZ is being carried out at a fast pace, with respective teams already mobilised. He stressed aggressive marketing of the SEZ for its speedy occupation and operationalization.
Sun Yaoguo said due to high standard of services combined with attractive incentives offered by the government, Rashakai has the potential to become a regional hub of economic activity. “Rashakai SEZ is the flagship project of CPEC and its success will further strengthen industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, BoI chief Atif Bokhari welcomed the delegation and praised CRBC’s impressive work in the Rashakai SEZ. He concurred with Sun Yaoguo for the perusal of an aggressive marketing campaign that effectively highlights the monetary benefits for investors. In this regard, Bokhari apprised the delegation about approval of two major incentives for SEZs i.e. customs duty exemption on capital goods and elimination of 1.5pc turnover tax.
He also shared that domestic companies have shown keen interest in setting up enterprises in the Rashakai SEZ and desired that this should also be looked into.
Both sides discussed the interest of Chinese enterprises in Rashakai. Bokhari agreed to a suggestion from CRBC to effectively communicate with the Chinese business community incentives and sectors for investment, saying that he would be part of a webinar on the issue.
On CRBC’s mega project in Karachi, Sun Yaoguo said that development of Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone, in collaboration with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs, will transform Karachi into an economic hub, while simultaneously generating employment opportunities for millions and bringing in sizable FDI.
Meanwhile, Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Minister Asad Umar chaired a separate meeting to review the development of Rashakai SEZ on Friday. CPEC Authority chairman, representatives from KP BOI and senior officials of federal & provincial governments was also present on the occasion.
As per officials, the meeting was apprised of the progress on the SEZ, especially regarding supply of gas and electricity. It was informed that 10MW electricity is available for Rashakai SEZ while the transmission line for another 160MW is under construction and will be completed by November 2021. A further addition is also planned for 2022.
SNGPL representatives informed that work on supply of 30MMCFD gas to Rashakai SEZ is underway and scheduled to be completed by the end of this year.
A representative of developers stated that the first unit of a steel plant was under construction and would be soon importing its plant and machinery.
“In the first phase, they plan to set up their first unit with an investment of $79 million to produce 500,000 tonnes of rebar/construction steel, whereas in the second phase, they intend to set up their second unit for production of industrial steel with an investment of $77 million and the total investment for three phases would be $42.2 million,” he added.