SEZ Dhabjei being developed thru PPP at cost of Rs18bn
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah Sindh has said that the Special Economic Zone, Dhabjei is being developed through a private partner at a cost of Rs18 billion to provide `plug and play’ facility to the investors within the next five year.
This he said while speaking at the signing ceremony of the Concession Agreement with ZKB, a private partner for development of the Special Economic Zone, Dhabeji. The ceremony was attended by Provincial ministers, advisors, leading businessmen and senior bureaucrats.
The chief minister said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has achieved significant milestones through joint efforts of the governments, enterprises, and people of both countries. “The first phase of the CPEC, which focused on energy and infrastructure projects met its successful completion and now the second phase is set to boost Pak-China cooperation in agriculture and initiate an era of industrialisation through establishment of Special Economic Zones,” he said.
Dhabeji Industrial Zone is a flagship project of the Sindh government and one of the priority projects under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. “This project will strengthen the industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China,” he said and added “It is ideally located near Karachi which provides a gateway to Central Asia, South Asia, Middle East and Africa.”
Mr. Shah said that the project has been launched under the Public Private Partnership mode. “We had received a number of bids but after a long evaluation process, ZKB has been finalised as the developer of the project,” he said and added that ZKB would develop its complete infrastructure, including roads, electricity, water and such others required for a leading economic zone.
Talking about economic benefits of the project, the CM said that it would attract an investment of over $5 billion and to generate 200,000 direct and indirect employment opportunities. He added that it was one of the largest PPP projects of the country in terms of investment and infrastructure with no viable gap fund (VGF) and no debt.
The project will offer state-of-the-art infrastructure, utilities at the doorstep and easy access to the ports of Karachi and the main railway line (ML-1), the CM said and added that a Jetty to connect Port Qasim with Dhabeji zone has also been envisaged to facilitate export-oriented industries.
He said a dedicated railway cargo deck from the zone to ML-1 near Dhabeji junction (Mainline1) was being planned to provide direct logistical connectivity with upcountry for transportation of finished goods, hence making it the most viable and connected Industrial Zone in the region.
The project will facilitate potential investors of China and other countries to establish new enterprises or transfer their facilities to Dhabeji Industrial Zone, Mr Shah said.
Karachi with its two major seaports, an extensive industrial infrastructure and an abundance of raw materials from cotton, rice, fruits, fisheries to coal and minerals is an ideal location for investors from all segments of the trade and industry, the CM said and added the 350km long coastline, the desserts, the Gorakh hills and the beautiful rivers give an immense opportunity to develop tourism.”
Earlier, CM Special Assistant on Investment Syed Qasim Naveed briefed the chief minister that work on the first phase of the project would be started by September 2022 and would be completed within five years.
Chairman Sindh Economic Zone Management Company (SEZMC) Mohammad Waseem, Secretary Investment and CEO SEZMC Azeem Uqaili also spoke on the occasion.