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PM Imran Khan to perform groundbreaking of Rashakai SEZ under CPEC

  • May 9, 2019
PM Imran Khan to perform groundbreaking of Rashakai SEZ under CPEC
Image caption PM Imran Khan to perform groundbreaking of Rashakai SEZ under CPEC

PESHAWAR: All is set for the formal groundbreaking ceremony of the flagship project of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government’s Rashakai Special Economic Zone under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

“Prime Minister Imran Khan will formally inaugurate the approximately 1000 acres Rashakai Economic Zone project within a few days,” Chief Executive KP Economic Zones Development and Management Company Saeed Ahmed confirmed to this scribe.

Under this project, the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) will develop infrastructure for Special Economic Zone (SEZ) with an investment of 130 million dollars under CPEC. A multibillion investment is expected from Pakistan and China, which will provide around 200,000 direct and indirect job opportunities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

The Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) is located on M1-Motorway at Rashakai Interchange and links to CPEC through Burhan Interchange on M1 and Swat Express Way (CPEC route) on Karnal Sher Khan interchange connecting Dir, Chitral and Shandur to RSEZ.

KPEZDMC Chief Executive Saeed Ahmed confirmed that a formal groundbreaking ceremony will be held soon, which will be attended by PM Imran Khan and Chinese officials. The Rashakai SEZ is a milestone and the first project for implementation of industrial cooperation under CPEC.

The China Road and Bridge Corporation (RBC) will develop 1000 acres of land as Special Economic Zone at Rashakai. Saeed Ahmed told this scribe that Rashakai Special Economic Zone spread over an area of approximately 1,000 acres of land having industries like pharmaceutical, textile, food and beverages, steel and various engineering related industries.

“We have received 1200 applications for plots. A committee has been constituted to finalize the procedure for allotment of plots. It will give employment to around 200,000 people in the province and will boost economic activities in Pakistan,” he said, adding that the government has already announced special incentives for the investors including ten years tax exemption and duty free import of machinery for Rashakai Economic Zone.

He explained that the main strength of the Rashakai Economic Zone is its strategic location for being connected to several districts of the province. He said a multibillion investment is expected by industrialists from Pakistan and abroad. He said Chinese companies are also interested to invest in Pakistan and they have contacted the CRBC for the allotment of plots.

An exceptionally planned international standards special economic zone will be completed in three phases.

The first phase will be completed in two years but allotters will be allowed to start construction work side by side to complete it. He claimed the special economic zone would be proved as a game changer and it will not only boost economic activities, job creation and enhance export of billions of rupees from Pakistan, but will also introduce modern technology in the country. Due to its central position in the province, the company foresees it to be the imminent trade hub of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the CEO said.

It is pertinent to mention that in pursuance of MoUs signed at the KP-China Road Show (April 2017), the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa signed a concessional agreement with the China Road and Bridge Corporation(CRBC) to develop Rashakai Special Economic Zone during PM Imran Khan’s visit to China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping.

Under the CPEC, so far nine special economic zones have been identified in different areas of Pakistan. One each in Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Balochistan and Islamabad, two in Sindh and one each in FATA, Kashmir, and Gilgit-Baltistan.

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