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Chinese delegation to visit sites proposed for SEZs

ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation of National Development and Reform Commission China is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on July 10, to visit the sites proposed for setting up Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). 
A spokesperson of Board of Investment (BoI) told Business Recorder that Ministry of Planning, Development and reforms and BOI will jointly arrange presentations and visits of the Chinese delegation to the proposed sites for establishment of SEZs in provinces. 
As many as nine sites for SEZs have been declared as priority sites under the CPEC in four provinces, FATA and Gilgit-Baltistan. These sites have been identified by the provincial governments and there is close coordination between the federal and the provincial governments for their development, he added. 
He further said SEZs would open to all investors both domestic and foreign, but are expected to particularly attract Chinese companies eager to locate near Gwadar port. 
With the ownership of provincial governments, all proposed nine industrial zones under CPEC will be completed within a period of two to three years. Since the promulgation of SEZ Act in 2012, seven economic zones have so far been notified. 
Three SEZs have been notified each in Sindh and Punjab. BOI has notified Khairpur (136 acres), Korangi Creek (250 Acres) and Bin Qasim (930 acres) in Sindh. In Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam Apparel Park (1536 acres), Faisalabad (213 acres) and M3 Industrial City Faisalabad (4356 acres) have been notified. Hattar (Khyber Pakhtunkhwa) on 424 acres land has been approved. 
National Industrial Parks Development and Management Company (Ministry of Industries and Production) has been assigned the task of developing and managing two SEZs to be established by the federal government in Karachi and Islamabad. 
An informed source said the federal and provincial governments wanted to accelerate the construction of new industries in the SEZs before the next general elections. Although Chinese companies have shown their interest in joint ventures with Pakistani companies but so far except for a few cases no major collaboration has yet taken place. 
BOI spokesperson recently stated that discussions were held with Ministry of Water and Power and Ministry of Petroleum and Natural Resources on provision of electricity and gas to proposed SEZs. He said the government would either provide electricity and gas in bulk or give permission for setting up Captive Power Plants in those nine proposed industrial zones. 
In the 6th Pakistan-China Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting held on December 29, 2016, the federal government had announced a plan to establish a total of 29 SEZs in the four provinces, Islamabad, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan out of the total 48 recommended sites by provincial governments.