Prime Minister Imran Khan speaking to a conference in Islamabad inaugurated the Rashakari Special Economic Zone, completed as a project of the CPEC.
He began by congratulating Mehmood Khan, the chief minister of KP. He said that the special zone would provide industrial jobs to the people of KP.
Reduction of poverty in KP & regional stability
KP according to the WHO, said the prime minister, was reducing poverty at a very fast pace, however, the opportunities for employment had not been increasing. With the completion of the economic zone, KP would have those opportunities. He said he understood that it was hard to leave family behind to go and earn in a far off place.
The prime minister speaking about the importance of the new zone said that if the talks with the Taliban in Afghanistan work, then the new zone could become an economic hub for the region. He said that the government had worked hard to ensure peace in Afghanistan and the fruits of their labour should soon show. He said that the zone could become central point of connectivity with Central Asia.
The China-Road and Bridge Corporation (#CRBC) and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zone Development and Management Company (#KPEZDMC) have reached an agreement to start developing the 1000 acres of the #Rashakai #SEZ.#CPEC #BRI #Rashakaihttps://t.co/FmRXTJguGn
— Rashakai Tech City (@RashakaiSEZ) October 13, 2018
He said further on regional issues that he said spoken to Uzbekistan’s Vice president and serious considerations were being made to extend the ML1 project soon to be launched to Mazar Sharif from Peshawar.
ML1, the next phase
Talking about the importance of the next phase of CPEC a part of which is ML1, he said that it would transform the current state of business and trade in Pakistan. He said that it would after the project, take 8 hours to reach Lahore from Karachi and other cities would also have their travel times reduced. He claimed that the project had the potential to change the region, and Pakistan would finally get to enjoy its strategic geography.
Speaking about the sacrifices of the people of the ‘tribal areas’ in the war on terror he said that they would finally be able to enjoy economic development, and employment opportunities.
Finally, he addressed the fact that Pakistan is a ‘young nation’ with a stark need for industrialization. He said that we stopped our industrialization in the 60’s and became a trading nation. It was time, however, he said that Pakistan incentivizes industry within and investments from outside Pakistan.
Background of the Rashakai Economic Zone
Rashakai Economic Zone (REZ), the flagship project of KPEZDMC is spread over an area of 1000 acres.
Rashakai Special Economic Zone (REZ) is located near M-1 Nowshera. The total area designated for Industrial use is 702 acres and as per Federal SEZA Regulations, of which 159 acres will be developed in Phase I, 279 acres in phase II and subsequently 264 acres in Phase III. For commercial use, an area of 76 acres has been allocated.
This project has been conceptualized from its initial stages by KPEZDMC, giving the zone resident industrialists of REZ an additional benefit of being an exceptionally pre-planned economic zone of international standards.
Rashakai Economic Zone is strategically located on M1 Motorway at the intersection and links to CPEC through Burhan interchange.
REZ also serves as a bridging post to Northern Areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and has close proximity to the Afghan border. Due to this central position of the economic zone in the province, the company foresees it to be the imminent trade hub of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
An access road (3.2 km) from Wali Interchange to SEZ zero point is under construction (Phase-I). Moreover, REZ is connected to all provinces of Pakistan through Airport (at a distance of 65 KM from REZ), Dry Port (65 KM), Railway station (25 KM), Motorway, highway (5 KM) and city centre (15 KM).
Based on the strengths of the connected districts and resource pool, the economic zone has predominant investment feasibility for industries in fruit & food processing/packaging and textile.