Industrial cooperation deal to help SEZs

BOI chairman says second phase calls for enhanced role of industrialists, private sector 


Our Correspondent August 26, 2020
A REUTERS FILE IMAGE

ISLAMABAD:

The signing of the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will realise the vision of development of special economic zones (SEZs), said Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Atif Bokhari.

Addressing a consultative forum on Draft Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under CPEC on Tuesday, he said the collaboration would ultimately lead to a prosperous and industrial Pakistan.

Bokhari highlighted that the first phase of CPEC required the government to play the leading role while the second phase requires a 180 degree shift in management and roles of actors.

“The second phase calls for enhanced role of industrialists, private sector and the business community,” he said. “Government’s role in the second phase of CPEC remains limited to being a facilitator and devising effective policies, laws and efficient infrastructure to assist in business-to-business and people-to-people linkages.”

The chairman shared that the draft Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation was being aligned with the long-term framework of CPEC.

He expressed hope that new avenues of opportunities will open by setting the fundamentals of industrial cooperation under CPEC, adding that it was the perfect time for Pakistan to tap the right opportunities from the collaboration.

According to him, significant progress had been achieved on development and colonisation of SEZs during the last few months as four SEZs under CPEC (Rashakai SEZ, Dhabeji SEZ, M-3 Allama Iqbal SEZ and Bostan SEZ) had entered advanced stages of development.

“The geographical proximity between China and Pakistan will allow these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual economic advantage,” he said.

Speaking at the event, BOI Secretary Fareena Mazhar shared the action plan for second phase of CPEC, which included promotion of agricultural cooperation in SEZs, relocation of Chinese industries to Pakistan and public-private partnerships for business prospects.

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