FAISALABAD: The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered its second phase under which Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are being established, however, a strategy should be evolved to encourage joint ventures in order to ensure technology transfer from China, emphasised Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Syed Zia Alumdar Hussain.
He was speaking to a three-member delegation of China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC), which was developing and marketing Rashakai and Hattar SEZs.
Hussain pointed out that the M3 Industrial Estate in Faisalabad had already been declared an SEZ under CPEC. “This project is spread over 4,500 acres of land which has been sold,” he said, adding that the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) was now planning to acquire another 3,000 acres for the second phase of the M3 Industrial Estate.
He was of the view that the estate was strategically located along the M3 motorway as the Lahore-Karachi motorway of CPEC could be reached within half an hour drive. “The surplus produced in this area can be easily transported to Karachi, Gwadar, China and landlocked Central Asia through reliable connectivity,” he said.
The FCCI president suggested that many industrial units, which had been closed due to lack of modern technology, could be revived through collaboration with China.
“China is importing food items worth $100 billion annually from across the world,” he pointed out. “Pakistan can provide some of these commodities as it produces surplus wheat, milk and vegetables.”
He suggested that value addition to these products would assist Pakistan in bridging the existing import and export gap between the two countries.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 17th, 2018.