Dhabeji Special Economic Zone: A ray of hope for impoverished Thatta

SEZ is expected to draw investments around the US $ 5 billion and will be a major contributor to Sindh’s socio-economic development.


Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (DSEZ), third priority industrial zone to be launched, in 2020, as part of CPEC-II is located in Thatta, Sindh – not very far from Port Qasim. Spread over 1530 acres, surrounded by a population of around 35 million (Thatta, Karachi & Hyderabad) in its proximity and connected with major national and reginal trade routes, through ports and airports, it is expected to draw investments around US $ 5 billion and will be a major contributor to Sindh’s socio-economic development and will help boost Pakistan’s economy as a whole.

DSEZ: Unparalleled Location

DSEZ enjoys a geographical advantage as it has easy and direct access to Port Qasim ( 25km) Karachi Airport (35 Km), Karachi city (50km), National Highway (0.5 km) and Karachi-Hyderabad M-9 is 35 km. Close proximity to the Highways will cut costs of transportation for both imports and exports and will enable the transportation of goods to Northern parts of the country and to the Central Asian countries neighbouring Pakistan.

Read more: Rashakai Special Economic Zone: 21st Century hub on historic Silk Road

DSEZ Management

Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC) is the provincial regulatory authority responsible for the development and management of the DSEZ. The project will be developed under a Public Private Partnership and will prioritize export-oriented industries. Joint ventures with Pakistani companies will also be encouraged.

Status of SEZ

Road shows were held in Nov 2019 and Jan 2020, and bids were conducted in June 2020. DSEZ is now waiting its final agreement expected before the end of this year. Once legal formally launched it is planned to be completed in three phases. Utilities such as gas and electricity will be available in many areas of the DSEZ by 2021 and 2022.

Concession term for the development project, for the Chinese developer, is 20 years, however, the lease time for private investors is 50 years, and the estimated development period of the project is 5 years.

Dhabeji Special Economic Zone

The federal government has already approved Rs 3.94 billion for construction of a dedicated grid for the SEZ. International bidding for hiring of developer is in progress, the developers will be soon finalized. It is expected that Construction work will start towards the end of 2020.

Main Industries

The industrial sectors to be set up in the special economic zone have been chosen after consulting with Chinese and Pakistani investors/companies and are suited to the resource base available.

The main industrial clusters planned to be established in the special economic zone include steel-foundries, automotive and auto parts, chemical and pharmaceuticals, consumer electronics engineering, textile and garments, warehousing, building material, and fast moving consumer goods.

Read more: Allama Iqbal Industrial City: Pakistan’s First CPEC Special Economic Zone

Economic Impact

Sindh government officials have estimated that the special economic zone will generate over 50,000 direct employment opportunities for both skilled and unskilled labour and 500,000 indirect employment.

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