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November 11, 2017

Pakistan, China agree to work together for SEZs


November 11, 2017

ISLAMABAD: Chinese government Friday agreed with the Pakistani authorities for cooperation and development of three prioritised Special Economic Zones (SEZs) locating in three provinces except Balochistan.

They reached this agreement on Friday in a second meeting of Pakistan China Joint Working Group (JWG) on Industrial Cooperation (IC) here through video link. Chinese investors expressed their great interest in investing in these three SEZs which are M3 Industrial City in Faisalabad, Chinese SEZ Dhabeji, Sindh and Hattar SEZ in KP province.

Based on the willingness of the companies, it was suggested that Pakistan should develop mechanisms to encourage investment in the SEZs. Chinese side, on the basis of their own assessment, agreed to initially cooperate in the development and promotion of these three prioritized SEZs. Both sides agreed to promote SEZs by using the available mechanism of parent and sisters cities cooperation arrangements.

The meeting was Co-Chaired by Li Xuedong, Deputy Director General of Department of International Cooperation, NDRC from the Chinese side and Azher Ali Chaudhry, Secretary Board of Investment (BOI) from the Pakistan side.

Secretary Chaudhry said that as SEZs would boost to rapid industrialization in Pakistan, so he emphasized, that we must have a clear cut roadmap for implementation of all the initiatives under industrial cooperation. 

He informed the participants that after sixth Pakistan-China Joint Cooperation Cio0mmitee (JCC) meeting of CPEC at Beijing on Dec 29th 2016, numerous actions have been taken by Pakistan.

He added that after extensive efforts and consultations by the BoI, Pakistan has approved an additional incentive package for setting up/relocation of industry in SEZs as per recommended in the 6th JCC meeting; the same was shared with the Chinese side who expressed appreciation for the same. 

He also expressed satisfaction that during visit of Chinese experts who conducted trainings related to SEZs and Industrial Zone Development, the Pakistani side has benefitted a great deal from the experience and knowledge of the visiting delegation.

The Deputy Director General, NDRC Li Xuedong appreciated the arrangements made by the BOI in facilitating the visits of two delegations from China. It was informed that Industrial Cooperation is long term cooperation.

The Expert delegations were comprehensively briefed on the six sites of prioritized SEZs. It was disclosed that they held intensive discussions with BOI and found that a lot of efforts were made by the Pakistan side. Chinese side showed satisfaction over the SEZ Law and the favorable incentives for investors.  Chinese side will cooperate, facilitate and encourage Chinese companies for establishing iconic projects to strengthen the Pak-China bilateral relations.        

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