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Proposed Dhabeji SEZ output to top $2 billion: SBI


KARACHI: Naheed Memon, Chairperson Sindh Board of Investment (SBI), on Friday said that two of the primary critical factors that contribute to the success of any special economic zone are connectivity to the ports/airports and access to a commercial centre. 

“Being 55km from Karachi city, 40km from the airport, and 50km from the port, this 1000-acre China Special Economic Zone (CSEZ) at Dhabeji will be the most viable and successful in Pakistan,” Ms Memon told a press conference at the preparatory launch of the project. 
The expected industrial output of the zone after becoming fully functional is likely to exceed $2 billion, creating more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs.
The ground work for the project is slated to start before the end of this year.  Ms Memon continued that after Gwadar Port, infrastructure, transport, and energy, the government was now focusing on industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which would directly create jobs and uplift socio-economic conditions in the country. 
“This industrial park is being developed as a model for cooperation between Pakistan and China.” “The Pakistani private sector will gain tremendously and by this initiative Joint Ventures between industries of both countries will take off,” the Sindh Board of Investment official said. 
Replying to a question, she confirmed that SBI has engaged a Consortium of Consultants comprising M/s Osmani and Company (Pvt.) Ltd, M/s Ernst & Young, IBA Karachi, and RIAA Barke Gillett to carry out a detailed feasibility study including legal & technical viability, commercial development plan, and transaction structure options and prepare a master plan for the proposed zone. 
According to a press release issued by the SBI, the CSEZ Dhabeji is one of the three Sindh government projects approved in the last Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) on CPEC.  In this regard, the government of Sindh has received committed investment from Chinese investors in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, garment manufacturing, and steel sectors. 
The Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) is working with the provincial industrial associations and state owned enterprises (SOEs) of China to develop and market this zone.  All the utilities including natural gas, power, and water will be provided by the federal and provincial governments.
Source: The News