LAHORE: A Consultative Session on “Special Economic Zones under CPEC” was held here at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry on Wednesday. The consultative Session was jointly organized by the LCCI and Board of Investment (BOI). Federal Secretary, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui, the LCCI President Abdul Basit, Vice President Muhammad Nasir Hameed Khan, Project Director CPEC, Planning Commission Hassan Daud Butt, Fareena Mazhar, Zuhfran Qasim, Ali Abbas, Amer Saleemi, Shahid Hassan Sheikh, Almas Hyder, Moazzam Rasheed and Muhammad Nawaz spoke on the occasion.
The experts said that China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) is an economic revolution and China’s One Belt One Road (OBOR) initiative covers countries and regions with a population of over 4 billion.
Shoaib Ahmad Siddiqui said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a mega game changing project of the government and most importantly people from all walks of life are on the same page as far as this project is concerned. He said that dream has come true and a number of projects under CPEC have been operational. He said that in order to ensure timely completion of CPEC projects, the federal government is working together with all stakeholders. “It is good to note that federal as well as provincial governments are working on CPEC projects together. He said new technologies are being introduced in infrastructure, transportation and engineering sectors due to CPEC projects.
The LCCI President Abdul Basit said that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are important part of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor that would ensure establishment of industrial clusters and would also help transferring knowledge and technology. He said that government would have to develop better policy for Special Economic Zones to increase growth rate and to attract Foreign Investors towards Pakistan. The LCCI President emphasized the need of One Window Operation for Special Economic Zones under China Pakistan Economic Corridor.
The Experts said that CPEC is a 3,218 kilometer long route, to be built over next several years, consisting of highways, railways and pipelines. The actual estimated cost of the project is expected to be US$75 billion, out of which US$45 billion plus will ensure that the corridor becomes operational by 2020. The remaining investment will be spent on energy generation and infrastructure development. It’s a beginning of a journey which hopes to transform the economy and help bridge Pakistan’s power shortfall.
They said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor has drawn the attention of all over the world and provided Pakistan a unique opportunity to become a global economic leader. They said that although governments of Pakistan and China are closely collaborating in this project, at the same time, the private sectors of Pakistan and China are going to have a bigger role to play in this mega project. They said that the CPEC is an overall cooperation platform with a focus on the long-term development of bilateral cooperation in various fields.