‘CPEC SEZs to change economic landscape of KP province’

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Aug 21, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Aug. 21 (Gwadar Pro) - The special economic zones being developed in KP under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as well as other industrial estates emerging along the CPEC routes in the province, will soon become centres of attraction for industrialists across the globe.

This was stated by Alhaj Shahji Gul Afridi, a senior politician, industrialist and cross-border goods transporter, while talking to Gwadar Pro on prospects of CPEC’s SEZs in KP.

Afridi owns Alhaj Steel, a joint venture with a Chinese steel manufacturer in Gadoon Industrial Estate in KP, Alhaj FAW, JV with a Chinese truck manufacturer in Karachi, and a sprawling goods transport business operating between Pakistan and the Central Asian Republics (CARs).

KP hosts two SEZs being developed in Pakistan under CPEC, one in Rashakai along CPEC's western route and other in Mohmand district along Pak-Afghan Highway. The provincial government is also establishing over two dozens of other industrial estates and aims at including a 3,000-acre SEZ in D.I.Khan district in the CPEC portfolio. Draban SEZ is located at the confluence of CPEC's M-15 motorway and national highways connecting D.I.Khan with Afghanistan through Angoor Ada and Ghulam Khan crossing points.

These economic zones coupled with the fast mobility ensured by CPEC will bring about an industrial revolution in KP, which will change the economic outlook of the province altogether, Afridi concluded.

Pakistan has been trying to tap the CARs market for long. Pakistani investors and traders are pinning high hopes on the Central Asian market aided by the ease of transportation offered by the CPEC road networks.

'We have ordered heavy machinery from China to meet the potential demand of Afghanistan and Central Asian republics', said Syed Tanveer Hussain Kazmi, Group General Manager with Murree Brewery, Pakistan's oldest producer of alcoholic and nonalcoholic beverages.

Muhammad Ali, manager projects at KP Board of Investment and Trade, said that as CPEC’s SEZs in KP had gained more importance, the KP Board of Investment and Trade was planning to launch a robust campaign to promote these industrial estates among overseas investors. He said that completion of Peshawar-Jalalabad Highway and Khyber Pass Economic Corridor will further boost industrial activities in KP as these road networks will extend CPEC to Afghanistan.

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