BOI emphasizes the relocation of Chinese industry in SEZs

ISLAMABAD-Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment (BOI), Atif Bokhari has emphasized that Pakistan and China need to focus and work towards expediting the relocation of Chinese Industry in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) including Rashakai SEZ.

China Road and Bridge Corporation Vice President, Sun Yaoguo and his delegation called on Minister of State and Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Atif Bokhari at BOI office here on Sunday.

He welcomed the delegation and praised China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) impressive work in the Rashakai SEZ. Both sides also discussed the interest of Chinese enterprises in Rashakai.

China and Pakistan have negotiated in detail on the development progress and marketing plans for Rashakai SEZ, and other matters of mutual interest, said a press release issued by BOI.

During the meeting, BOI Chairman concurred with Mr. Sun for perusal of an aggressive marketing campaign that effectively highlights the monetary benefits for investors.

BOI Chairman appraised the delegation of approval of two major incentives for SEZs i.e. custom and duty exemption on capital goods and elimination of 1.5 per cent turnover tax.

He applauded the work being carried out by CRBC in Pakistan. He assured the delegation that BOI would support CRBC in coordination with relevant departments and ministries as well as offering assistance within BOI’s mandate.

BOI looks forward to closely working with CRBC to not only facilitate their progress in Pakistan but also to jointly work towards Pakistan’s fast paced industrialization, he added.

BOI Chairman also shared that domestic companies have shown keen interest in setting up enterprises in the Rashakai SEZ and desired that this should be looked into.

On a suggestion from CRBC to effectively communicate with the Chinese business community about incentives and sectors for investment, Mr. Bokhari agreed and further suggested that he will be part of a webinar on the issue.

CRBC Vice President, Sun Yaoguo informed during the meeting that development work of Rashakai SEZ is being carried out at a fast pace and to that end respective teams have already been mobilized.

He highlighted that aggressive marketing of the SEZ to local and foreign investors is crucial for its speedy occupation and operationalisation.

He further said that the standard of services, combined with the attractive incentives offered by the Government of Pakistan, Rashakai has the potential to become a hub of economic activity. Additionally, Rashakai SEZ is the flagship project of CPEC and its success will further strengthen industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China.

Sun Yaoguo also briefed the meeting on CRBC’s mega project in Karachi.

The Karachi Coastal Comprehensive Development Zone, in collaboration with the Ministry of Maritime Affairs aims at developing Karachi as a regional hub for economic activity while, generating employment opportunities for millions and bringing in sizable FDI.

Chinese staff returns to join CPEC projects

As many as 235 personnel from PowerChina International Group Limited (PowerChina) and 31 workers from other companies, returned to Pakistan for China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects with 230 boxes of anti-epidemic materials and construction equipment.

PowerChina indicated that this batch of staff would participate in the construction of Diamer-Bashah Dam, Lucky Coal-fired Power Station Project, Wind Power Project Group, and Thar Power Station Project. In 2021, those projects will gradually enter the construction peak period which demands more technicians and workers,” according to a report published by CEN on Sunday.

After arriving, all the 266 staff will be quarantined for 14 days before entering the construction site. A spokesman said: “At present, all the projects of PowerChina Pakistan have been operating normally. The construction has been carried out under the requirements of the State-owned Assets Supervision and Administration Commission of the State Council of China (SASAC), embassies of the two countries, and the Pakistani government, while ensuring the time limit and quality. Up to now, all the projects have been smoothly constructed and have satisfied all relative parties.”

The personnel back to Pakistan have shown high-positivity and more than 300 staff applied to come to projects and reinforce the construction. “Including project managers, engineers and workers, we are full of confidence in constructing and implementing CPEC projects,” the spokesman said.

In order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 outbreak in all projects of PowerChina, the epidemic prevention and control measures have been implemented in place, with sufficient supplies in reserve.