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Business

October 13, 2017

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‘Scope for auto part makers, steel industry at Dhabeji SEZ’

‘Scope for auto part makers, steel industry at Dhabeji SEZ’

KARACHI: Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) chairperson Naheed Memon on Thursday said the number of responses received for the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) in Dhabeji was so high that the 1,000 acres seemed less for the purpose.

Talking to journalists after a meeting of China’s official think tank China Intervention Engineering Consultation Corporation (CIECC), she said they found opportunities and scope for auto parts manufacturers, logistics warehouses, and steel industry, etc in SEZ Dhabeji.

Pakistan’s auto market was one of the biggest retail markets, but auto parts were being smuggled. “They have huge scope of manufacturing here,” she said.

The SBI was doing pre-consultations before the approval of SEZs in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). Joint Co-ordination Committee (JCC) of the two countries would give approval of SEZs in Pakistan in December this year.

“There is pre-JCC working group meeting on industries this Tuesday in Islamabad,” the SBI chairperson said. CIECC would recommend the situation to China’s official authority on development- National Development Reforms Commission (NDRC).

The SBI chairperson informed that Pakistan’s think tanks, including IBA officials also met with the Chinese think tanks in the session. Feasibility of SEZ Dhabeji was underway, while the feasibility of logistics warehouses has been initiated.

China has experience of developing SEZs since 1984. It developed SEZs in Cambodia and Belarus, the SBI chairperson Naheed Memon said, and added they wanted to establish SEZ Dhabeji as a model SEZ, though it was not on a large scale. “It won’t be an SEZ of even $100 million,” she said. “But, it would be replicable in other cities.”

The SBI chairperson agreed there were gaps in policy development. “With Chinese expertise, jobs will be created, while we have to finalise on tariffs, duties and infrastructure etc. We want Pak and Chinese entrepreneur’s (to go for) joint ventures, as the Chinese cannot operate here alone.” She said development at Dhabeji SEZ was expected to begin in early 2018. 

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