SIALKOT: President Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) Majid Raza Bhutta suggested that Sialkot Export Processing Zone (SEPZ) should be given the status of Special Economic Zone under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for further accelerating export activities at golden triangle comprising Sialkot, Gujranwala and Gujrat.
He said that the conversion would enable the business community of the region to set up their individual industrial units in the new zone. Major export-oriented cities like Sialkot can be strong contenders for setting up SEZ and Sialkot is the only export-oriented city where 99 per cent of manufactured products are exported to international markets, he said.
Majid said Chinese investors should be encouraged to bring their investment, and technology in Sialkot. He suggested that the government should identify high priority sectors for export and ensure concessions and incentives to encourage export of respective sectors. It is very unfortunate that very few industrial units were functioning at the Sialkot Export Processing Zone which was established long ago.
The SCCI president said that the government should provide special incentives to encourage export of high-priority sectors like textile and clothing, surgical and dental instruments, leather products, sports goods, footwear, gems and jewellery and furniture.
Similarly, potential sectors like surgical implants, composite products, light engineering products, printing and packing, sportswear, fitness apparel, gloves and musical instruments etc., needed special focus and facilities to perform optimally, he added.
Majid said that the government should provide interest-free loan on 10 per cent of the total exports for the import of new technology and enabling exporters to upgrade their industrial units for enhancing production inefficiencies.