ISLAMABAD: The city managers are exploring options to set up a special economic zone under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) along the proposed eastern bypass.

Sources said a few days ago officials from the Capital Development Authority (CDA) and the Board of Investment held a meeting on the setting up of the economic zone. The CDA proposed that the zone could be developed along the eastern bypass.

The eastern bypass will be constructed from GT Road Rawat to Bhara Kahu which will link Rawat, Taimar and other areas before joining Murree Road in Bhara Kahu or Satra Meel. The meeting was told that currently the alignment and design of the eastern bypass was being carried out and once the alignment is finalised the CDA will earmark a site along the bypass road.

“Though a final decision is yet to be taken, the meeting focused on setting up of the special zone along the eastern bypass,” said one of the participants of the meeting.

The Board of Investment has been holding meetings with CDA since 2017 for getting a piece of land for the zone but so far the issue is undecided. However, sources said, now the CDA has decided to earmark the required land along the eastern bypass.

Meanwhile, land for CPEC Tower is also yet to be earmarked and currently CDA is identifying a suitable place where the tower will be set up.

According to Planning Commission of Pakistan, the model economic zone will be based in the capital city. The zone would have the advantage of being connected to well-established infrastructure, logistics network and trade routes (railways, an airport, highways). Full availability of water, electricity, drainage and communication systems will ensure the successful businesses in the zone.

The planning commission said investments in the zone would mainly focus high-tech industry, IT and related sectors. Under CPEC, nine economic zones will be set up in various parts of the country.

Published in Dawn, November 20th, 2020

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