The federal government is planning to establish 29 Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in all of the four provinces of the country as part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The zones are expected to expand volume of the economy and give impetus to the industrial growth in the country. The corridor project is being seen as the game changer not only for Pakistan, but also for the region as it will not only develop industrial base of the country, but also infrastructure on the modern lines. According to experts, Pakistan could not utilize full potentials of the economic zones so far and is lagging behind the countries in the region in terms of GDP growth and industrial surplus. India in the neighborhood is using its huge population as engine of growth to enhance its business and industry. As comparison to India, Pakistan is in better position to use human and natural resources for the benefits of the economy. The government only needs to facilitate not only Chinese investors, but also entrepreneurs from European countries at the special economic zones. The actual environment of Pakistan is different what is being depicted in the western media. There is need to create awareness about Pakistan in the international community, especially the business community.
Apart from special economic zones, special export processing zones are also need to be enhanced where foreign investors should be allowed to set industries at minimal tax rates. All electricity, infrastructural facilities and security should be provided to them. A businessman only wants protection of his capital and it is not difficult for the government to ensure security of the capital and security of life and property to the foreign investors. Pakistan should adopt Dubai model where the economy is based on business and not on oil. With a population smaller than a small Pakistani city, the leadership of Dubai has created not only a conducive business environment, but also turned desert areas into one of the most expensive real estate sectors in the world. The prices of real estate in Dubai are equal to Manhattan. This could be only made possible by adopting revolutionary business and trade policies of the government in that country. Pakistan has better location than the deserts of Dubai and can turn Pakistan into the most modern technologically advanced country if prudent policies are adopted. According to economists, the proposed Special Economic Zones will include various types of specialized zones with specific types of enterprises operating in a well-defined geographic area.
Pakistan’s economy has been at takeoff position for the last many years, but hostile forces are active to stop it in the midway. If the government is serious in the development of the country, it should immediately start developing high-quality infrastructure, ensure uninterrupted power supply, specify land for the zones and ensure support services to the entrepreneurs.