The government is stressing on the establishment of ICT special economic zones in Pakistan, the ICT special economic zone will constitute the second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in order to draw investment in IT and services related sectors in Pakistan.
The government has selected the top four special economic zones for early execution of SEZ program including Model ICT Zone Islamabad, Allama Iqbal Industrial City (M3) in Faisalabad, Rashakai Economic Zone in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (M-1) and China Special Economic Zone in Dhabeji (Thatta).
According to the sources, a pioneering ceremony would be held in Model ICT Zone Islamabad in the near future and it would be the part of government’s target to raise the share of IT and related services in all exports from Pakistan.
The government also engaged Huawei Technology Pakistan and the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to reach an agreement focusing on ICT talent development program which will enable enhancing IT-linked exports from Pakistan.
Pakistan’s current IT and related services exports have been increased to $1.07 billion in the financial year 2018 as compared to $939 million in 2017 showing an increase of 13% according to State bank of Pakistan figures.
Additionally, nine other prime locations including Gilgit-Baltistan, Tribal areas and Azad Kashmir have been selected to establish special economic zones under CPEC. Each economic zone will provide specific services related to specific products depending on the availability of domestic raw material, workforce, and other factors.
Other special economic zones including Port Qasim, Bostan Industrial Zone in Baluchistan, Industrial Park (Pakistan Steel Mills), Mohmand Marble City in tribal areas, Moqpondass Gilgit Zone and SEZ in Mirpur are also the part of the program.
The sources in the government said that the government is also interested in the relocation of Chinese labor-intensive industries to Pakistan if that is not hurting the local industries.