ISLAMABAD: The Board of Investment approved establishment of two special economic zones in Sindh aimed at providing all facilities to the investors at one place for promoting investment in the country.
The approval was given during a meeting of the Approvals Committee, headed by BOI chairman Dr Miftah Ismail. These zones will be established at Bin Qasim and Korangi Creek.
The Bin Qasim Industrial Park will be spread over an area of 930 acres near Port Qasim, adjacent to the Arabian Sea Country Club. The estimated project cost is Rs9.8 billion. “The government expects Rs50 billion direct investments in the special economic zone that will contribute Rs100 billion to the overall size of the economy and generate direct employment for 50,000 individuals,” said the BOI.
The project has been designed to cater to the needs of medium and large entrepreneurs aspiring to invest in the engineering and steel industry of Pakistan. The proposed industrial clusters under the SEZ will include engineering and equipment units, foundries and steel fabricating units, light engineering units and furniture and woodworks units. It will also host chemicals, food, pharmaceuticals and beverage industries.
Meanwhile, the Korangi Creek Industrial Park will be developed on 240 acres of land and is to be located in the Korangi Industrial area, Karachi and will cost Rs3.8 billion. “The project is envisioned to bring Rs20 billion direct investment and contribute Rs40 billion to the GDP and generate direct employment for 30,000 individuals,” according to the BOI.
This park will be divided into two zones, namely, Low Density Zone (Industrial) and High Density Zone (Commercial). The Low Density Zone is strategically clustered to cater consumer food and pharmaceuticals, garments and value-added textiles, light engineering, packaging, printing and warehouse logistics. The high density zone is envisioned to promote the information technology, gems and jewelry and other ancillary sectors.
In 2012, the Parliament enacted Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Act aimed at giving assurance to the investors that the incentives once given cannot be withdrawn. The incentives include corporate income tax holiday of 10 years for investors and 10 years for developers of the zone. The Act promises duty-free import of capital goods for developers and zone enterprises. The incentives for exports available to projects anywhere in the country (outside the zone) are also applicable to exports from the projects in the Zone.
For getting benefits the investors are required to start construction within six months and production within two years of project approval.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 23rd, 2014.
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