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Sindh govt set to invite bids for Dhabeji SEZ

Sindh govt set to invite bids for Dhabeji SEZ

KARACHI: The Sindh government is all set to invite developers to participate in competitive bidding for the Dhabeji Special Economic Zone (SEZ).

Talking to media, Sindh Economic Zones Management Company (SEZMC) CEO Abdul Azeem Uqaili said “Sindh government has completed all the homework for inviting private investors to work on one of the three SEZs of the country, which will be operational in the near future”.

In 2012, the federal government passed the Special Economic Zones Act according to which nine SEZs had to be built across Pakistan.

The government had incentivised these SEZs by giving income tax holidays for 10 years to the companies which set up units in the area. Moreover, it had also allowed duty-free import of machinery for installation in plants of the companies established in the SEZs.

However, the goal could not be achieved by 2017. Therefore, in 2018, the Joint Coordination Committee (JCC) of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) decided to work initially on three SEZs instead of starting work on all nine zones.

The three SEZs, which were decided to be developed initially in the 7th JCC meeting, were Rashakai SEZ in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Dhabeji SEZ in Sindh and Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad.

“Dhabeji SEZ covers an area of 15,000 acres with easy access to Port Qasim, facilitating import of raw material and export of finished goods without raising cost of inland transportation and also saving time,” said the CEO.

“It also has easy access to Karachi airport, which is at a distance of 35 km via National Highway, enabling safe travel for foreign workers and the management.”

In addition to this, the SEZ also has direct access to the National Highway, which enables transportation of goods upcountry and to Central Asian nations through the national trade corridor, he added.

He said the Sindh Investment Department would release a request for proposal (RFP) in August and the project would be completed under the public-private partnership (PPP) model.

He highlighted that the government would provide land and the private partner would act as a realtor, who would develop the SEZ like a residential society and sell plots to companies.