CPEC economic zone to generate $1bn investment in Pak’s Sindh

The Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (SEZ) to be developed under the framework of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in Sindh province will generate $1 billion investment and provide 100,000 direct and indirect jobs for local population, a top official said.

Speaking at a conference here on Wednesday, Abdul Azeem Uqaili, CEO of the Sindh Special Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC), said the total development cost of the Dhabeji SEZ is estimated at $120 million and is being developed under public private partnership mode through an international competitive bidding process, reports Xinhua news agency.

Despite the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the provincial government received a huge response and many bids are expected to be submitted from potential investors till February next year which has been fixed as the final month for submission of bids from developers and the agreement would be signed on March 9, 2021, according to a statement by the SEZMC.

“The SEZ will facilitate the potential investors from China and other countries to either start new enterprises or transfer their facilities to Pakistan, and all documentation process and other formalities will be done through one-window operation,” he said.

Uqaili said the country’s federal government has approved 4.3 billion PKR ($26.82 million) fund to construct a dedicated grid for the SEZ which would provide up to 250 megawatts of electricity at zero point of the project to be completed by 2023, and an additional 429 million PKR ($2.67 million) supply of up to 15 mmcfd gas at the doorstep of the project which is scheduled to be completed by December 2021.

The CPEC is a flagship $62 billion project of Chinese President Xi Jinping’s Belt and Road Initiative that aims to connect Asia, Africa and Europe through a vast network of highways, rail lines and sea lanes.

The multi-billion dollar corridor connects the Chinese city of Kashgar with Pakistan’s Gwadar port on the Arabian Sea.