Sindh govt receives committed investment from Chinese investors

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KARACHI: Sindh Board of Investment Chairperson Naheed Memon, in a press conference at the preparatory launch of Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (SEZ) on Friday has told that the Sindh government has received committed investment from Chinese investors in chemicals, pharmaceuticals, garment manufacturing and steel sectors.

Memon, who is also the vice chairperson of the Special Economic Zone Authority (SEZA) said that the SEZA is actively engaged with provincial industrial associations and state-owned enterprises of China to develop and market this zone.

Talking about the SEZ at Dhabeji, he said that the two primary critical factors for the success of the SEZ are firstly connectivity and secondly access to a commercial centre.

Dhabeji is at a distance of 55km from Karachi, and the population of Karachi is close to 25 to 30 million people. Based on these actual parameters, this will make the 1000 acres zone at Dhabeji the most viable and successful SEZ in Pakistan.

All the utilities, including natural gas, power, and water, will be provided by federal and provincial governments. It is expected that the ground work will start before the end of this year. The expected industrial output of this zone will exceed two billion US$ and more than 100,000 direct and indirect jobs will be generated.

The China Dhabeji Special Economic Zone is one of the three approved projects of the Sindh government under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Ms Memon informed that after the initial focus on Gwadar, infrastructure development, transport, and energy, the focus had now shifted to industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan under CPEC which will 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, he said. The Pakistani private sector will gain tremendously by this initiative; joint ventures between industries of both countries will take off.

She confirmed that the Sindh Board of Investment has engaged a consortium of consultants comprising M/s. Osmani and Company (Pvt.) Ltd., M/s. Ernst & Young, Karachi IBA, and RIAA Barker Gillette to carry out a detailed feasibility study which will include legal & technical viability, commercial development plan, transaction structure options and will also prepare a master plan for the proposed zone.