ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been working towards achieving Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) over the years with dedication.

As a part of realisation of Pakistan’s SDG vision, Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary Fareena Mazhar presented three game changing projects to the UNDP that will pave the way for Pakistan to become a success story in terms of progress on the SDGs, here on Wednesday.

The SDG Investment Fair is held twice a year under the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UNDESA). The first Investment Fair was held earlier in April 2021 and the Second Investment Fair was held on Wednesday at the BOI.

Projects from NHA, NUST and the Ministry of Science and Technology were presented by the secretary BOI.

She had presented nine projects from all sectors in the April 2021 Investment Fair, while this time the shovel ready three projects were offered to the international investors as per the UN international standards.

The three projects include the Sialkot-Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway project (Phase-I and II) and manufacturing of medical equipment.

The first two projects specifically focus on SDGs 8,9 and 11: decent work and economic growth, industry, innovation and infrastructure, and sustainable cities and communities.

The secretary shared that outcomes of this project will be integrating industrial cities such as Sialkot, Gujrat, and Wazirabad with high-speed connectivity.

It will also reduce migration pressure to large cities, which will in turn create thousands of jobs allied with 40 industries associated with the construction of road as Sialkot is the center of manufacturing and exporting products.

She further added that important toll road project is designed with a total length of 69km connecting Pakistan’s largest SME industrial cities and this strategic project will play a major role in Pakistan’s post-Covideconomic recovery.

Elaborating on the Sialkot-Kharian project, she said that it would further be extended up to Rawalpindi in the next phase.

The project will reduce cost of doing business and increase commercial transport connectivity. Phase-II of the project is designed with a total length of 115 km.

The basic design and commercial feasibility study is in progress and investment is being sought through bidding.

The project will be extension of 4-lane Sialkot-Kharian Motorway, which is under procurement. The construction of Kharian-Rawalpindi section shall complete the Lahore-Sialkot-Kharian-Rawalpindi Motorway network.

It will be a major initiative to connect SME hubs for job creation and productivity enhancement.

Mazhar stated that the third project specifically focuses on three SDGs including SDG 3: good health and well-being, SDG 9: industry, innovation and infrastructure, and SDG 10: reduced inequalities.

She stressed that completion of this project will ensure availability of cost effective healthcare services in Pakistan, lead to a reduction in import bill and create job opportunities in the healthcare sector.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021


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