SEZs can improve regional trade linkages: official

November 23, 2022

Special Economic Zones Authority (SEZA) Chairman SM Naveed has said that the special economic zones under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) can significantly enhance regional trade linkages.

“We should work together to increase connectivity and trade among the nations in the area,” said SM Naveed, who is also a former president of the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), while addressing a webinar.

He asserted that Punjab's special economic zones are a centre for important industrial sectors like textiles, agriculture, food processing, transportation, and services, and that there are currently about 10 such zones operating there. These include M3 Industrial City, Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Rahim Yar Khan Industrial Estate, Bhalwal Industrial Estate, JW China Pakistan, Vehari Industrial Estate, and others.

He said: “We are focusing on providing maximum support to all the projects by providing gas, water, electricity, and other facilities to factories in industrial parks. We are also providing business enterprises with suitable policy packages to attract potential investors.”

PCJCCI President Moazzam Ali Ghurki speaking at the event said: The SEZs offer economic linkage between countries with limited resources and those with abundant resources.  Such regional integration strengthens harmony, encourages peace, and secures the region's overall economic growth, he added.

PCJCCI Senior Vice President Fang Yulong participated in the discussion online and offered his thoughts by stating that Pakistan offered a sizable market for investment in the fields of energy, automobiles, textiles, surgical devices, infrastructure, engineering, agriculture, minerals, and small and medium enterprises. He added that renewable energy sources, including solar, wind, thermal, and biogas, are another area of emphasis.

Fang said Pakistan welcomed Chinese investment across all industries to benefit from the country’s liberal and progressive investment policies. All capital items imported into Pakistan for the development, operations, and maintenance of the SEZ industrial units will be exempt from customs duties and taxes for ten years, he added.

In order to reach the desired result, according to PCJCCI Vice President Hamza Khalid, it is necessary to capitalise on available resources and offer the zone developers the most assistance possible.

Credit : Independent News Pakistan-WealthPk