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January 20, 2019

Government asked to open SEZ under CPEC in Islamabad

National

January 20, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) has called upon the government to consider early groundbreaking of Special Economic Zone (SEZ) under CPEC in Islamabad in order to boost industrial and investment activities in the region.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal, President, ICCI said that Prime Minister Imran Khan during a recent meeting held to review progress on CPEC was informed that Rashakai-KP, Dhabeji-Sindh and M-3 Faisalabad-Punjab SEZs would be ready for groundbreaking by June 2019, which was very encouraging, a statement issued by ICCI said on Saturday.

However, he said that groundbreaking of IT SEZ in Islamabad could get unnecessarily delay as the government has not selected any site or acquired land for this project so far.

He urged that the government should strictly follow the timelines set for the development of prioritized SEZs to complete them on time.

Ahmed Hassan Moughal said that China had shown interest to establish over 100 SEZs in Pakistan under CPEC, and nine SEZs have been approved so far for development.

He said that development of more SEZs under CPEC was of paramount importance to promote investment, industrialisation and employment generation in Pakistan.

He emphasised that government should consider increasing SEZs under CPEC to maximize their benefits for the economy. He said development of more SEZs under CPEC would also put Pakistan on the path of sustainable industrial growth and urged that the government should pay priority attention to this issue.

Rafat Farid Senior Vice President and Iftikhar Anwar Sethi Vice President, ICCI said that government should provide level playing field to local and foreign investors for joint ventures (JVs) and investment in SEZs under CPEC so that indigenous industry could also flourish by investing in these Zones.

They said the government should allow duty free import of industrial machinery and technology in the forthcoming mini-budget to facilitate industry in upgradation and enable it to compete more effectively for JVs in SEZs. They said that Pakistan was mostly depending on textiles and few other products for exports due to which the export base of the country could not be expanded. They were of the view that allowing duty free import of machinery & technology would help in production of value added products and making significant increase in exports.

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