HomeDiplomacySEZs development drives industrial growth in CPEC Phase II

SEZs development drives industrial growth in CPEC Phase II


Beijing, 12 March 2024(TDI): In the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), industrialization takes center stage, with a focus on developing Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The CPEC Authority, operating under the Ministry of Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives, spearheads efforts to establish these SEZs, boosting economic growth and enhancing industrial capabilities in Pakistan.

Jamshed Ahmed, Investment and Industrial Specialist at the CPEC Authority, highlighted the meticulous planning and evaluation process undertaken to identify suitable locations for SEZs.

Chinese experts were engaged in conducting site visits to assess the feasibility of potential locations for industrial development.

Initially, 34 to 39 sites were identified as suitable for SEZs, with provincial governments consulted to reach a consensus on the most appropriate locations.

Priority SEZs Identified

Nine zones and areas were subsequently identified as potential sites for SEZs, with four zones identified as priority areas for development.

Among these priority SEZs is the Allama Iqbal Industrial City (AIIC) in Faisalabad, covering approximately 3,217 acres of land.

The Rashakai SEZ in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, spanning 247 acres, has been strategically developed to boost trade and connectivity, situated conveniently at the gateway to international markets.

In Sindh, the Dhabeji SEZ, covering 1,530 acres near Thatta district, is strategically located in proximity to Port Qasim and Karachi Port, garnering considerable interest from Chinese investors.

This strategic location offers substantial cost advantages in terms of inland transportation and facilitates direct export operations from the ports.

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Similarly, the Bostan Industrial Zone in Balochistan, spanning 1,000 acres, is strategically positioned on the border between Pishin and Quetta.

This ensures feasibility for business activities and facilitates the mobility of the labor force, situated just 23km from Quetta Airport.

The CPEC Authority closely monitors the progress of these SEZs, particularly those awarded to Chinese contractors, with progress closely monitored by their headquarters in China.

The development of these SEZs underscores the commitment of the CPEC Authority towards promoting industrialization and economic development in Pakistan.

Additionally, contributing to the realization of the broader objectives of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.


The writer is a dedicated graduate student pursuing an MPhil in DSS from NDU Islamabad.

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