Four SEZs to create 1.47m jobs, boost industrial growth

Establishment of SEZs critical to resolving balance of payment issues, says Razak Dawood

ISLAMABAD: Four Special Economic Zones (SEZs), work on which is continuing at full swing, would soon create as many as 1.47 million jobs besides, playing an important role in promoting local industry to lead the country towards sustainable economic growth.

“The SEZs including Rashakai M-1  Nowshera; Dhabeji Thatta;  Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad and Bostan Balochistan would create around 475,000 direct and 1,000,000 indirect jobs all across the country,” senior official of Board of Investment (BoI) told APP here Monday.

Talking to APP, the official said these SEZ, which are part of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would promote overall industrial growth in the country, adding that development of these four zones was top priority of the government.

“The 1,000 acre Rashkai SEZ has already attracted at more than 2,000 domestic and foreign investments in different sectors of economy,” he said, adding that the zone would be developed in three phases and as per the plan 247 acres of land would be developed in the first phase, 355 acres in the second phase and 399 acres in the third phase.

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Likewise, the federal government would provide 210 MW electricity to the zone in three phases while it had also earmarked Rs1203 million for gas for this zone.

Rashakai SEZ is connected to all the provinces of Pakistan through airports, dry ports, railway stations, motorways and highways. The zone is located at the confluence of the five major districts of KPK, Nowshera, Mardan and Swabi, Charsadda and Peshawar.

The zone will provide employment to 80 per cent whereas there is fertile land in the adjoining districts, which is suitable for growing a variety of cash crops and vegetables. The SEZ would cover more than 400 industries, including garments and textile products, home appliances, general commercial goods, electronics and electrical appliances, automobiles and mechanical equipment.

Meanwhile, talking to APP the Adviser to Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood talking about the shift of industries from China to Pakistan said, “We are looking to welcome the Chinese industries in our SEZs to Joint Venture (JVs) with local investors and also share the mutual experience for benefiting the local industries.”

“The SEZs are primarily focused on industrialisation that result in export promotion, import substitution, transfer of technologies and employment generation, which are the primary targets of our government as well,” he said.

“The establishment of SEZs was critical to resolving balance of payment issues as we tend to give priority to enterprises which are involved in export generation or import substitution” he said.

He said that Rashakai SEZ is the flagship project of CPEC and its success will further strengthen industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China.

He said the development of Rashakai SEZ had a huge strategic implication, because it is closer to resource rich Central Asian Republics (CARs) and also plays a role for economic integration of the region.

He said that all of these SEZs would have far-reaching socio-economic impact in the region by attracting more investment, spurring industrialization, creating employment in the industry and ensuring export led-growth.

He said that Pakistan’s proximity with China would allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic advantage.

Replying to another question, he said that Rashakai SEZ held a unique competitive advantage due to its proximity to the first juncture of CPEC route, and significant resource and manufacturing base in the region.

Replying to another question about the most priority sector for future investment in Pakistan, he said that textiles value addition, information technology, logistic, tourism and housing are the major sectors in which the government wants to bring foreign investment.

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  1. How many jobs are actually created to date? How many factories are running in these SEZs right now?

    This information would be nice. Media updates are useful but reading this report it seems like the phrase “would be, would do, will attract” dominate the story.


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