Pakistan is expecting investment from four leading industrial countries including Japan, South Korea, China and the US - in Special Economic Zones (SEZ), an official of the Board of Investment (BoI) said on Tuesday. The official said that excluding the US, three other countries had already assured Pakistan that their industrialists and investors were interested in investing in Pakistan once the government "begins implementing SEZ law".
"We will establish industry, country and sector-specific zones and South Korea, China, and Japan have assured us of all possible co-operation in this connection," he maintained. When the official was asked if the government has requested the forum of Friends of Democratic Pakistan to help in industrial uplift of the country, he replied Pakistan's scarifies in protecting global peace were numerous and "we have requested these countries to play their due role in reviving our economy".
"Economic Zones can be set up by federal government or any provincial government or by a private developer. The federal and provincial governments can also set up SEZs in collaboration with private developers. The existing industrial estates and zones in the country can also qualify for the SEZ status as stipulated in the law," the official stated and added that these special economic zones would be established in all provinces.
"Our aim is to create employment opportunities for the youth of the country so that their energies could be utilised in positive activities, which will also help us in eliminating the sense of deprivation among the youth, besides putting the country on the track of economic growth", he said.
The official revealed that so far there was no SEZ in Pakistan, only some industrial zones and export processing zones were operational in the country. Referring to Export Processing Zones, he said that these zones were operational in Karachi, Risalpur, Saindak, Sialkot, Gujranwala, Gwadar and Dudar, while industrial zones are operational in Taxila, Gujar Khan, Gujranwala, Karcahi, Hyderabad, Mirpurkhas, Nawabshah, Lahore, Sialkot, Faisalabad, Jhelum, Gujrat, Peshawar, Haripur, Abbottabad, Mardan and other cities.