LAHORE: In a bid to promote the manufacturing sector, encourage diversification in exports and boost the country’s economy, the government has established 10 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in various parts of Punjab.

The construction of four more SEZs is about to be launched as approval from authorities is awaited, Dawn learnt on Thursday. Land for the first Special Technical Zone (STZ) in Lahore — meant for the promotion of services sector — has also been allocated.

“10 SEZs has been completed including the Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC) near Faisalabad where the Chinese plan to invest by establishing industry under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project,” an official of the Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) told Dawn when contacted on Thursday.

According to an official document, the SEZs completed included Rahim Yar Khan Industrial Estate, Bhalwal Industrial Estate (Sargodha), Vehari Industrial Estate, Rachna Industrial Park (near Sheikhpura, Lahore), M-3 Industrial City (Lahore-Faisalabad Motorway), SEZ Oil Village (Rawalpindi), Value Addition City SEZ, Faisalabad, Quaid-e-Azam Apparel & Business Park (QAABP), JW China-Pakistan SEZ (Lahore) and AIIC (Faisalabad).

Minister claims Rs350bn invested in various sectors

The SEZ under process to be approved include Zaamin SEZ (a private entity), Masan Daud Khel, Bahawalpur Industrial Estate and Roshan Sun Tao Paper Mills SEZ (Lahore-Islamabad Motorway).

“We have adopted an effective strategy to boost economy as 10 special economic zones have been established in the province,” said Punjab Minister for Industry and Commerce Mian Aslam Iqbal on Thursday. Speaking to the newly elected office bearers of Tanneries Association Dinpur, Kasur, Mr Iqbal said, “There is a conducive environment for investment in the special economic zones as world-class industrial infrastructure has been provided there.”

He claimed that in the last four years, more than Rs350 billions have been invested in various sectors of Punjab.

Production begins at some zones

The Rahim Yar Khan SEZ has a total land (sellable area) of 327 acres, out of which 220.5 acres have been sold while 106.5 acres are remaining. Four units here have started production while five are under construction.

Bhalwal Industrial Estate has a total area of 307 acres out of which 148 acres have been sold while 159 acres are yet to be sold. Three units here have started production while one is under construction.

Of 175 acres (sellable) area in Vehari Industrial Estate, 81.81 acres have been sold having three units under operation these days. Rachna Industrial Park has 159 acres of which 77 acres have been sold. M-3 industrial city has total 3,049 acres of which 2,894 acres have been sold having 83 units in operation and 89 under construction.

SEZ Oil Village has 74 acres of which 30 acres have been sold already having three units under construction at various plots. VAC SEZ has 150 acres out of which 147.8 acres have been sold. 44 units have started production while nine are under construction at this SEZ.

The QAABP SEZ has 1,075 acres that included 87 acres sold already having one unit under construction to date. JW China SEZ has 162 acres including 89 acres sold already. Here three units have started production while one is under construction. The AIIC has total 1,960 acres having 675 acres sold.16 units are under construction at this SEZ.

Published in Dawn, March 6th, 2022

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