LAHORE: Pakistan accords top priority to the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman and State Minister Muhammad Azfar Ahsan said on Tuesday.

The development work on all SEZs is under way fast and three of the total nine SEZs, including Allama Iqbal Industrial City SEZ in Punjab, Rashakai SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Dhabeji SEZ in Sindh, will be completed soon, he said while speaking at the CPEC Industrial Cooperation B2B Investment Conference.

The BoI chairman said attractive fiscal incentives are being offered under SEZs which include a tax-free period of 10 years and custom duty exemption on import of capital goods to both the developers and enterprises housed in the SEZs.

The BoI chief termed CPEC industrial cooperation an all-inclusive entity in its scope and open to third party participation.

China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong and Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin ul Haque appreciated the steps taken by government of Pakistan to further strengthen the Islamabad-Beijing relations by exploring areas of mutual cooperation.

Special Assistant to the PM on CPEC Khalid Mansoor said that during the ongoing second phase of CPEC, four SEZs are being focused with special attention given to textiles, IT, automobiles, pharmaceuticals, FMCG and renewable energy.

BoI Secretary Fareena Mazhar highlighted that there are ample opportunities for foreign investors to invest with 100 per cent equity or joint ventures in various fields with repatriation of investment and profit allowed with legal protection provisioned under the Acts of parliament to foreign investment.

Punjab Minister for Industries & Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal said there is a good opportunity for Chinese firms to invest in the Naya Pakistan Housing and Development Authority.

On the occasion, a memorandum of understanding was signed between HBL and China Machinery Engineering Cooperation on agricultural cooperation.

Published in Dawn, December 22nd, 2021

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