Pakistan, China to ink Rashakai SEZ deal

BoI chief hopes SEZ will pave way for setting up new zones

Our Correspondent September 14, 2020
A Reuters file image


Pakistan and China are expected to ink an agreement today (Monday) on the development of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The agreement is expected to be signed during a ceremony scheduled to take place at the Prime Minister House in Islamabad.

Minister of State and Board of Investment (BoI) Chairperson Atif Bokhari, in a statement on Sunday, said that the development agreement of the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will help realise the vision for the development of special economic zones, ultimately leading to the prosperity of the country.

Bokhari said that great progress has been made in the zones which have been established under CPEC and that they are being prepared for business.

Pakistan’s geographical proximity to China will help these SEZs to foster economic interdependence for mutual advantage, said.

The official further said that under Section-13 of the Special Economic Zones Act 2012, binds together the federation, the province and the SEZ developer through an agreement for the successful establishment and development of an economic zone.

This agreement provides the road map for the establishment of an SEZ while holding the federal and provincial governments and the developer jointly responsible for the development and successful operations of an SEZ.

The Rashakai SEZ will be developed under a public-private partnership by the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) Economic Zone Development and Management Company (KPEZDMC) in collaboration with the China Road and Bridge Corporation.

The $128 million projects, sprawling over 1,000 acres of land, was awarded the SEZ status on August 6, 2019, and its Concession Agreement was signed in April 2019.

The minister of state further added that the BoI has promoted the establishment of the SEZ to capitalise on investment inflow under the CPEC, inclusive economic development of K-P, creation of job opportunities, industrial development, and export generation in the country.

The Rashakai SEZ has an advantage due to its proximity to the first juncture of CPEC route, and significant resource and manufacturing base in the region, he said.

The timely construction and development of the zone will be possible with the provision of all the basic facilities required, Bokhari said, adding that the zone is spread over an area of 1,000 acres. The BoI chief said the federal government has committed Rs1.8 billion for provision of 210 megawatts of electricity, and Rs1.2 billion for the provision of 30 mmcfd gas from the federal PSDP.

Federal ministers, representatives from various ministries, K-P government officials, and different stakeholders will attend the ceremony.


Published in The Express Tribune, September 14th, 2020.


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