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SEZs to help achieve economic modernization
  ·  2022-11-02  ·   Source: The Daily Mail, Pakistan

The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) affords an opportunity for Pakistan's industrial sector to modernize and improve its efficiency and competitiveness. More importantly, the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) would enable the industries to smooth their supply chains, enhance collaboration and innovation capabilities, and benefit from significant economies of scale. 

SEZs are a major source of attracting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to the host country, resulting in higher foreign exchange earnings, exports, government revenue and employment generation. 

Dr. Liaquat Ali Shah, Executive Director and Head of the Policy Division—Trade and Industrial Cooperation at the Centre of Excellence for CPEC said, "The SEZs being developed across the country under the second phase of the CPEC will further augment Pakistan's industrial growth and appears to have a strong focus on industrialization which will provide essential sources of economic growth and help generate further employment in the country." 

"The CPEC projects are the incumbent government's top priority. Federal Minister for Planning and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal is keenly focusing on expediting the work on SEZs without delay and has directed the ministries concerned to remove all the bottlenecks," he stated. 

"The Rashakai Special Economic Zone in the Nowshera district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will be operationalized this year, as all the requirements, including utilities, have been made available there," he added. 

Dr. Liaquat said, "The SEZs provide immense investment potential for both local and foreign investors. A German delegation, comprising representatives of different companies, has recently visited Pakistan and shown interest in investment in the Gwadar deep seaport and SEZs." 

"Pakistan should concentrate on luring more FDI inflows, implementing trade-related investment measures, and developing a comprehensive, objective-oriented and rigorous approach to find and secure more FDI inflows from Chinese companies," he suggested. 

The CPEC official said, "Modernization of economy through the CPEC has had a great impact on our economy. It's a great opportunity for local and foreign investors to fully benefit from the improved ease of doing business in the country and utilize the opportunities being offered by Pakistan's business and investment-friendly policies, particularly in the SEZs and Gwadar Free Zone, which offer a lot of incentives to foreign investors in the form of exemption from internal and import taxes." 

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