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Govt anticipates $4b investment in three industrial zones along CPEC


12/28/2016
FAISALABAD: The government is expecting $4 billion as fresh investment in three industrial zones that will be set up in Punjab and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) along the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) routes, said a senior official of Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company.
 
In the first phase, the Faisalabad Industrial Estate, Sheikhupura Industrial Estate and Haripur Industrial Estate are expected to fetch over Rs400 billion or nearly $4 billion investment in setting up factories and purchasing land, said Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) Chief Operating Officer Aamir Saleemi while talking to The Express Tribune.
 
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In the Faisalabad Industrial Zones alone as many as 650 new factories are expected to be set up, he added. Recently, a company has purchased land at a cost of Rs1 billion for setting up a factory, said Saleemi.
 
The Punjab government has proposed Sheikhupura and Faisalabad cities for setting up these industrial units in the first phase of setting up Special Economic Zones. The Joint Cooperation Committee of the CPEC that is meeting in Beijing from Wednesday would take up these proposals, according to officials of Punjab government.
 
After the first three years of planning and approvals, the CPEC has started taking shape, which suggests that the project’s impact will not be limited to the $46 billion Chinese investment in energy and infrastructure projects.
 
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The investment in the industry is the solution to uplift the economy and reduce the unemployment in the country. Saleemi said that recently six major Chinese companies have signed an agreement with FIEDMC authority to invest in Faisalabad Industrial Estate. In the first step, they have purchased land to install their units, adding that mostly new investment is being made in engineering, food and processing sectors. In the first step, they will invest $150 million, he added.
 
Saleemi said that after the inauguration of the Gwadar Port the international image of the country has improved. “The CPEC has brought new investment and the rest of the world wants to trade with Pakistan,” he claimed.
 
He underlined the importance of the textile sector in the overall national economy and said that it is contributing 65% towards earning foreign exchange. Similarly, this sector is also providing jobs to 35 to 40% of the total labour force.
 
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He said that taxes play an instrumental role in running the state affairs in addition to undertaking development projects. He said that for the new investors who are investing in these estates, the company is offering ten years tax free environment. The imported machinery is also exempted from payment of duties.