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    Completion of Ist phase of Rashakai SEZ attracting Rs85bn investment-a milestone achievement

    Completion of Ist phase of Rashakai SEZ attracting Rs85bn investment-a milestone achievement

    PESHAWAR (APP): Attracted about Rs85 billion investment so far, Rashakai Priortized Special Economic Zone (RPSEZ) is going to become an international trade and industrial hub after completion of its phase ahead of six months of the completion time under CPEC in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

    Being the first mega project of CPEC completed in KP, RPSEZ’s first phase inaguration has reflected the strong commitment and economic cooperation between the time-tested friends Pakistan and China. 

    It demonstrated an exceptional efforts and unwavering commitment of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development & Management Company (KPEZDMC) Govt of KP and China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC).

    Encompassing 247 acres of modern facilities designed to attract domestic and foreign investors, Phase I of RPSEZ helps spur economic growth and job creation for skilled workforce that would further strengthening Pakistan-China cooperation in diversfied fields under CPEC. 

    “RPSEZ’s Phase- I houses 18 zone enterprises, with seven under construction; mobilizing an estimated investment of Rs. 85 billion that would become a catalyst for regional prosperity, economic and industrial development,” said Javed Iqbal Khattak, Chief Executive Officer, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development & Management Company (KPEZDMC) while talking to APP 

    “RPSEZ Phase-1 scheduled to be completed by December this year, was completed six months ago and was inagurated by caretaker Chief Minister Azam Khan on Friday last,” he said.

    Located at most strategic site on Islamabad-Peshawar Motorway in Nowshera district with major international markets of Central Asia, Afghanistan, CARs, China and SAARC in its proximity, RPSEZ is an emerging international business hub that would serve as a trade gateway for promotion of industrialization and economic development of Pakistan.

    The project will bolster industrialization, promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), construction, pharmaceutical, food and marble industries in addition to increase trade volume between Pakistan and aforementioned countries.

    “The completion of RPSEZ Phase-1 comprising three phases and covering an area of 247 acres, has reflected the better team­work and coordination with China Road and Bridge Company (CRBC,” he added.

    He said that RPSEZ Phase-1 was the first completed project initiated under CPEC in Pakistan, adding the marvelous performance shown by a public sector company of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has given an edge to the province over other provinces of the country. 

    Javed Iqbal Khattak said that Rs85 billion investment has already been made in the zone and chi­nese several domestic and major industrial groups started investing in it. 

    Units for manufacturing Active Phar­maceutical Ingredients (APIs) a raw material for pharmaceutical industrial units are going to be setup and another investor also shown interest in establishing a vaccine manufacturing unit, he said, adding Paki­stan Oxygen, a largest oxygen manufacturing unit, has already invested in RSPEZ.

    Following official announcement of CPEC, around 37 zones were proposed as Special Economic Zones (SEZs) for all provinces of Pakistan out of which establishment of nine SEZs were prioritized including RPSEZ, Dhabeji, Bostan Industrial Zone, Allama Iqbal Industrial City Faisalabad, ICT Model Industrial Zone Islamabad, Industrial Park Pakistan Steel Mills Port Qasim, Mirpur Industrial Zone AJK, Mohmand Marble City and Moqpondass in Gilgit-Baltistan.

    However, RPSEZ is holding a unique competitive advantage due to its close proximity to the first juncture of CPEC route, close location with Peshawar Airport, Islamabad and ML-I besides a significant resource and manufacturing base, making it an attractive destination for domestic and international investors to capture local and international markets for capital gains.

    Work on the project was initiated after inking Memorandum of Understandings (MoU) during KP-China Roadshow in April 2017 and after a long deliberations, KP Government had signed the Concessional Agreement with CRBC to develop RPSEZ and was awarded SEZ status on August 6, 2019 before its Concessional agreement was signed in April 2019. 

    The agreements provided a comprehensive roadmap for establishment of RPSEZ while holding federal and provincial governments besides developers jointly responsible for its timely development and completion as per international standards.

    Initiated construction work on 9 new eco­nomic zones including two special economic zones of Hattar and Rashakai SEZ, he said that his company has completed about 90 percent infrastructure development work at Hattar Special Economic Zone and now colonization is also in progress in the facility 

    He said during the current management, the company’s as­sets by the end of year 2022 have increased to Rs.15.8 billion as compared to Rs.13 billion in 2021 and that a surplus of Rs. 29 mil­lion (Rs 35 million in 2021) with total income of Rs.1025 million in 2022 (Rs 926.5 million in 2021) was posted.

    Javed Iqbal Khattak said the company had generated funds around Rs 3.1 billion including Rs 541 million received in the shape of the annual development programme (ADP) in 2022. 

    He said Rs.93 mil­lion were contributed by the company to the government treasury in the form of duties and taxes during the year and ob­tained Pakistan Centre for Philanthropy (PCP) Certification inevitable for NPO status under In­come Tax Ordinance, 2001.

    He said new economic zones including Special Economic Zone D.I. Khan and Chitral Economic Zones were launched last year.

    In the first phase of Rashakai SEZ, industries related to foods processing, textile garments, home building materials, general merchandise, electronics, mines and minerals, electrical appliances, automobile and mechanical equipment were being  priortized and more industries to be included in later stages.

    Javed Iqbal Khattak said that all essential services including roads, water, gas, warehouses and electricity were provided to RPSEZ.

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