Rashakai Special Economic Zone earth breaking to be held soon: Asim Bajwa

China’s first SEZ transformed Shenzhen from a fishing village of 30,000 to a 12 million people metropolis. We can't wait to see what happens to Rashakai once the SEZ is operating.

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Chairman CPEC Authority Lt. Gen (retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa Tuesday said the earth breaking in Rashakai Special Economic Zone under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be held soon. PM Imran Khan launched Rashakai’s CPEC linked Special Economic zone on September 14, 2020.

This he said during a meeting with Speaker National Assembly Asad Qaiser here at the Speaker House. During the meeting they discussed the progress of ongoing development projects under CPEC in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

Read more: PM inaugrates coveted Rashakai Economic Zone

Asim Bajwa assured the Speaker of early completion of Dera Ismail Khan Motorway and other projects under CPEC in the province. Asad Qaiser said CPEC was harbinger development and prosperity in Pakistan.

He said the timely completion of CPEC projects in KPK was need of the hour as with completion of the projects, a new era of development and prosperity would begin in the province.

 

The Speaker said with the development of CPEC and Special Economic Zones (SEZs), new business opportunities would be created. Besides business and trade, the transportation services would also be improved in the province, he added.

SEZs are keys to development as has been proven in cases of China and Bangladesh. China’s first SEZ transformed Shenzhen from a fishing village of 30,000 to a 12 million people metropolis. Bangladesh’s BEZA’s mission is to establish 100 economic zones across the country between 2015 and 2030, to create 10 million jobs. Currently, it has 500,000 people employed in its eight export processing zones.

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

With the advent of M-1, Rashakai – a small sleepy town in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province renowned in the region for its cloth market – suddenly became a feverish interchange for people travelling to Nowshera, Mardan, Swat and other Northern parts of KPK.

Planned Investment and job opportunities

Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ) with a predicted investment of US $ 1.6 billion is set to generate 200,000 jobs. Annual product sales are expected around $1.2 billion with a cumulated effect of almost $29 billion over 25 years. RSEZ will become an economic hub for the surrounding cities bringing growth and industrialization for KPK and Pakistan.

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Strategic location

Connected to mega-centres in all directions – it is approximately 55 Km from Peshawar, 97 Km from Islamabad and 116 Km from Torkham – the location of the Rashakai Special Economic zone (RSEZ) is central to trade and development; it will be a hub on the historic Silk Route. It is strategically located on M1 Motorway – with population in the immediate surroundings is estimated to be over 35 million – at the intersection and links to CPEC routes through the Burhan interchange and the Swat Expressway.

Read more: China and the history of its Special Economic Zones

Management of RSEZ

RSEZ will be managed through a special purpose vehicle named Rashakai Special Economic Zone Development and Operations Company (RSEZDOC) which is jointly owned by the China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC – owns 91%) and by KPEZDMC (owns 9%), in a public-private partnership. The CRBC is a Chinese State-Owned Enterprise that was designated by the Government of China for Development of Rashakai Prioritized SEZ. The KPEZDMC is a company that is fully owned by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government set up to ensure speedy industrialization in the province.

Read more: Why Pakistan’s SEZ law may need fixing?

RSEZ: Size and Scope

The special economic zone is situated on 1000 Acres of land with an estimated development cost of $128 million. The total leasable area is 778 acres, including 702 acres for industrial activity and 76 acres for commercial activity. The development will be spaced out in three phases and will take approximately six to seven years till completion. Phase 1, with an assigned area of 247 acres, is estimated to be completed within two years. Phase 2, with an assigned area of 335 acres, is estimated to be completed within the next two years. Phase 3, with an assigned area of 399 acres, is estimated to be completed within the next 2-3 years after Phase 2 is completed.

Read more: With China menacing India’s northern borders, India looks for military allies.

RSEZ: Main Industries

Strategic industrial clustering is one of the tactics employed to give the RSEZ a trading and commercial edge in the region. The main clusters in the industrial area include agri-base and food processing, electronics and electrical appliances, automobile and mechanical equipment, general merchandise and sports goods, garments and textiles products, and marble, minerals and chemicals.

Read more: Congratulations to Bakhtawar Bhutto on her engagement!

Courtesy: APP with additional input by the GVS News Desk.

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