PESHAWAR – “The development of Rashakai SEZ, commercially launched on 28th May 2021, is in progress steadily. Construction of industrial units is on the way including Century Steel, which is a Chinese-owned conglomerate and will be a state-of-the-art steel manufacturing facility. Besides, 11 enterprises have been allotted land with an area of 42 acres to establish industrial units with an expected investment of Rs11.826 billion and 2,500 employment opportunities in the SEZ,” Hassan Duad Butt, CEO of KP-BoIT revealed in a recent interview with Gwadar Pro.
He further added that the SEZ construction will last 6 to 7 years in 3 phases. The provision of electricity to the zone has also been planned in three phases. In Phase One, 10 Mw was provided in Sept 2020; in Phase Two, 160 Mw will be provided, and 90% of work has been completed and in Phase Three, 50 Mw will be provided. The gas requirement of the zone is 30-Mmcfd which has also been approved by the Federal Government and the gas transmission line pipe-laying was completed in December 2021.
Dr Hassan further introduced that the external road network including the provision of utilities is moving as per schedule as well. Chinese state-owned enterprise China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) is actively involved in its marketing to develop the SEZ. The investment plan is focused on high-tech, export-led industries that can add value to the local natural resources and food industry.
Rashakai SEZ is the flagship industrial project of GoKP under CPEC. The SEZ is ideally located on the M1 motorway and is spread over an area of more than 1000 acres. It is also called Gwadar of the North as it connects Pakistan to neighbouring countries, presenting significant opportunities for both local and international companies to come and establish their industrial setups. “The location and management strategy makes it a suitable investment initiative. This coupled with the incentives and tax holidays give a suitable platform to invest and benefit from the zone,” he emphasised.
Hassan stated that the SEZ, due to its ideal location and easy access to Afghanistan, can largely enhance Pak-Afghan trade volume with export-led manufacturing industrial units being established at the SEZ, which is currently US$833.42 million. There is a large consumer market for fast-moving consumer products (food, beverages & dairy), light engineering products, and textile and garments that can be manufactured in Rashakai and exported to Afghanistan.
(Source: National print and online media with input from social media and local sources)