Foreign investment in SEZs

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In order to ease the process and get more investment opportunities, Prime Minister Imran Khan has approved a simplified approval procedure for industries and companies keen to invest and function in Special Economic zones. Apart from this, both federal and provincial governments have established a mechanism to facilitate companies that are interested in investing in these zones. Here it is pertinent to mention that in spite of the Covid-19 pandemic, the year 2021 witnessed outstanding progress in CPEC projects. The proof of this is the completion of many projects and most significant expansion of the CPEC through industrial cooperation framework, and now it is displaying results such as construction work at Allama Iqbal and Rashakai SEZs as well as the expansion of the SEZ in Gwadar. The north zone is 35 times bigger than the south zone, and this shows Pakistan’s utter assurance towards progress and the future of CPEC. China and Pakistan are concentrating on the agriculture and science and technology sector in the second phase of the CPEC. Both countries are agreed to particularly work on the information technology domain. China has made wonderful progress in this domain and Pakistan is now starting to see significant progress in this area which can benefit Pakistan. In 2020, the export of Pakistan’s IT services grew by 47 percent and in 2021 they further increased, therefore, there are incredible opportunities for Pakistani and Chinese companies in this sector. strategic cooperative partners, Pakistan and China have constantly strengthened strategic communication and protected common interests. In order to further streamline the project, Pakistan has established the China-Pakistan Relations Steering Committee to coordinate and resolve CPEC issues. Other initiatives to ease the implementation procedure includes a special visa policy for CPEC to facilitate investment; setting up a Foreign National Security Cell to fortify security measures. These concrete measures have added more confidence in the development of the CPEC.

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