Singapore investors urged to set up industries in CPEC Special Economic Zones

Web DeskWeb Editor

08th Jul, 2021. 04:29 pm
Singapore investors urged to set up industries in CPEC Special Economic Zones

ISLAMABAD: China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Chairman Lt-Gen Asim Saleem Bajwa (Retd) on Thursday invited the investors from Singapore to tap the huge opportunities being developed in the newly-established Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC.

“I invite you to come in here for the win-win opportunity as we have a huge young human resource and cheaper labour force,” he said, while addressing as the keynote speaker at a webinar on “Investment Opportunities in CPEC-related SEZs”.

The event was jointly organised by the Pakistan High Commission and the Embassy of China in Singapore.
Bajwa said: “We are hungry for industrialisation and development; therefore, Singapore investors could benefit from our potential.”

Singapore could be a role model for the economic development for Pakistan and the government wanted to get expertise of Singapore investors, especially in science and technology and industrialisation, he said.

Speaking about the importance and achievements of the mega project, the chairman said CPEC was a lifeline for Pakistan. The first phase was almost completed, which was largely meant to bridge the energy and infrastructure gaps in the country, he said, adding: “We are now moving towards the second phase of CPEC with a range of sectors, including industrialisation, tourism, science and technology, and agriculture.”

Bajwa said some 37 Special Economic Zones had been identified in Pakistan, of which nine were prioritised and four were shortlisted as the most important ones.

Rashakai Economic Zone with a land cover of over 1,000 acres of land had already been launched where a Chinese company, Century Steel, has established its industry, which is likely to start production within a year, he said, adding that 25 more companies were also lined up to set up their factories in the zone.

Further, Bajwa said the Allama Iqbal Zone in Faisalabad was also functional where a number of new industries were being constructed, adding that the foreign investors could tap the potential, especially in textiles and garments here, besides pharmaceutical industry was also very much suitable.

Similarly, he said, another SEZ near the port city of Karachi was also being launched soon. Gwadar Free Zone Phase-I, comprising 60 acres, was also completed and around 46 investors have invested in these zones, he said.

There were about 12 factories in these free zones and, of the total, construction work on three factories have been completed so far. The free zone phase-II, with a land cover of around 2,200 acres, would be completed by September this year and it would help attract more foreign, as well as local investment, he added.

Bajwa said that the free zones project under CPEC would be completed in four phases and the project would be fully materialised by 2030, which would play a vital role in the economic development of the country. Prime Minister Imran Khan had recently ground broken the second phase.

The CPEC chairman said Gwadar was very fast connecting with the North side of the country, as construction work on the Western route of CPEC was in progress. Bajwa said Boston SEZ was another prioritised zone, which is located near Quetta.

Quetta is the epicentre of mines and minerals and investors of this sector could get the opportunity to set up their plants here. The Iran border was very near to the Gwadar Port city and formal trade with Tehran through the Gwadar Port would start soon, he added.

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