The Board of Investment (BOI) declared on Friday that the colonization of Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad, the second special economic zone (SEZ) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, has begun with a proposed investment of Rs53.6 billion.
At its meeting, the Allama Iqbal Industrial City SEZ Committee approved fifteen applications and allocated 320 acres of land for projects.
Colonization is a technical concept that refers to the process of developers establishing units in an industrial zone.
A Chinese business, Zhengbang Agriculture Pakistan (Private) Limited, is one of the applicants, with a proposal to invest Rs800 million in the agriculture sector. Zahid Jee Textile Mills, Ocean Ceramics, and Ittehad Metals, among others, will start businesses worth Rs11.8 billion, Rs11.2 billion, and Rs7.5 billion, respectively.
Rashakai is home to the CPEC’s first special economic zone.
Meanwhile, the Vehari SEZ Committee approved its first zone enterprise at a meeting. The first company to settle in this zone was Suraya Aslam Paper (Private) Limited, which was granted permission to construct a project worth Rs100 million.
Naseem Export Private Limited, with a proposed investment of Rs4.5 billion, was allocated land and granted zone entry by Rahimyar Khan’s SEZ Committee.
The application for zone enterprise entry and land allotment was recently submitted and processed through the SEZ’s MIS Module, which was designed by the BoI. The module ensures accountability and ease of use by acting as a single point of contact, in line with the government’s goal of making doing business easier. Along with the property, these businesses are now eligible for benefits provided by these areas, such as customs duties and tax exemptions under the SEZ Act of 2012.
While praising the progress, BOI Chairman Atif Bokhari said that the automation of SEZs, as envisioned by the prime minister, is now bearing fruit. He added that the SEZ MIS Module was accepted to make it easier for investors to gain admission to zones and to ensure clarity in plot allocation in various SEZs.
International investors may easily classify and select potential locations for setting up their units in the SEZs, according to BOI Secretary Fareena Mazhar.