One Window Facilitation Centre For Economic Zones To Form

CPEC Business Council has recommended that one window facilitation centre for economic zones be made in place under a single authority.

China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Business Council has Thursday recommended that one window facilitation centre for economic zones be made in place under a single authority represented by all the concerned ministries to make the country as an investment-friendly destination.

CPEC Business Council that met herewith under the chair of Abdul Razak Dawood, Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment has also recommended the inclusion of new sectors and projects in CPEC. The meeting was attended by Minister of State/Chairman, Board of Investment Atif R. Bokhari, Chairman CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa, Secretary BOI Fareena Mazhar, members of the council and BOI’s officials.

Secretary BOI, Fareena Mazhar briefed the participants on the role of CPEC Business Council, progress on Industrial Cooperation and proposed initiatives for enhancing B2B collaboration under CPEC. Abdul Razak Dawood emphasised the bigger role of the private sector combined with technology companies in CPEC projects. The government would facilitate at the maximum level to ensure the establishment of large-scale manufacturing units and information technology zones under CPEC, he said.

Chairman BOI, Aatif R. Bokhari informed that efforts are being made to achieve the efficiency in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) by placing one window operation matching with the global practices.“Rashakai would be a model zone to be established, followed by Dhabeji which is uniquely placed and open for local and foreign investors equally” he added.

He further informed that efforts were made to develop SEZs in service sectors and approval was accorded to IT Zones to facilitate information technology and software development. Electronic vehicle and mobile phones manufacturing policies have been introduced and the same could be adopted for hardware manufacturing with support of the private sector, he stated. Earlier, the members proposed the inclusion of new sectors and projects in CPEC. It was proposed that petrochemical and it’s domestic production at competitive prices require the establishment of petrochemical cracker and it is the best possible option to include this project into CPEC.

It was highlighted that the tourism sector could be promoted by offering incentives and financial support. The council further suggested that one window facilitation for economic zones be made in place under one authority represented by all the concerned ministries to make the country as an investment-friendly destination. Private sector representatives further recommended that RMB transaction should be facilitated for bilateral trade and investment with China. In addition to business visas, facilitation in getting a work visa for foreign experts be enhanced.

It was recommended that infrastructure development such as manufacturing of hardware in the IT sector would help to grow, expand, and boost the economy. Pakistani institutes may take advantages of Chinese advancement in the IT sector by ensuring the transfer of technology. It was highlighted that Thar, being a place of cheap and sustainable energy resources, could be an obvious choice for big industry such as petrochemical and naphtha cracker.

The council noted that industrial Cooperation is a vital part of CPEC, and the government should facilitate to expedite development of infrastructure in SEZs. More joint ventures should be established in SEZs to look for import substitutions and equal benefits offered to international players be extended to domestic investors. Financing for the second phase of CPEC is provided by Pakistan side too in the shape of incentives.

Originally Published at Urdu Point

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