PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company (EZDMC) has signed a concessional agreement with China Roads and Bridges Corporation (CRBC) to develop Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ).

A statement issued here said that the agreement was signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s recent visit to China on the occasion of second Belt and Road Forum.

It said that Rashakai SEZ was the key milestone and the first project for implementation of industrial cooperation under CPEC. CRBC in collaboration with EZDMC plans to develop 1,000 acres of land as SEZ in Rashakai.

CRBC will market the zone to local and foreign investors. Rashakai SEZ will have industries like pharmaceutical, textile, food and beverages, steel and various engineering related industries. This initiative by the government of KP will provide direct and indirect job opportunities to 200,000 locals once the SEZ is fully colonised. Investment of multibillion rupees is expected by industrialists from Pakistan and abroad, while hundreds of online applications for the SEZ have already been received.

The statement said a formal groundbreaking ceremony would be held soon which will be attended by PM Imran Khan. The statement said CEO EZDMC Saeed Ahmed signed the concessional agreement with CRBC Chairman Lu Shan.

The signing ceremony was attended by PM Khan and Chinese PM Li Keiqiang apart from high-level delegations from Pakistan and China.

Mr Ahmed said: “This is a major achievement and a game changer for the people of the region. The project will bring prosperity not only to KP but will also be a major hub for tax collection and exports contributing to the national economy.”

Published in Dawn, May 4th, 2019