ISLAMABAD: The newly-established Dera Ismail Khan Economic Zone has so far attracted an investment of Rs400 million with a few industrial units having been set up there.
Ayat Ghee & Cooking Oil Mills, Chasma Plastic and Packages, and Makkha Chemicals DAP/Fertilizers are among the newly-established units in the economic zone. The commercial production of these industrial projects is expected to create over 450 direct jobs and 1,000 indirect jobs.
Talking to WealthPK, an official of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade stated that the newly-established industries in the DI Khan Economic Zone would contribute to the economic uplift of the area as well as the development of the country’s industrial sector.
The official said that the KP’s investment board was doing everything possible to provide a conducive business environment in all economic zones for both domestic and foreign investors.
According to the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), in recent years, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) have become more prevalent across the globe, including Free Trade Zones, Export Processing Zones, Freeports, and others. It is estimated that nearly 150 economies have established some sort of special economic zones with the total number of SEZs worldwide approaching 7,000. Among the many advantages offered by these is a more relaxed regulatory environment, which increases the overall ease of doing business.
These create thousands of jobs and build the capabilities of the local workforce as outside investors share their expertise and know-how through technology transfer. The economic benefits for countries hosting successful SEZs can be significant.
Tuaha Adil, a research economist, told WealthPK that an effective industrial policy must be developed and implemented in Pakistan to enhance the productivity.
He said removing barriers to trade were critical, including lowering tariffs, reducing quotas, as well as providing the right business environment to attract foreign investment. “These facilities can best be provided in an SEZ, where all trade costs for operating firms are significantly reduced.”
WealthPK research shows that the DI Khan Economic Zone covers 189 acres in one of the most resource-rich regions of Pakistan, which also includes Lakki Marwat, Mianwali, Bhakkar, Dera Ghazi Khan and South Waziristan.
Due to its location near the second most significant juncture of the CPEC route, on the Western Corridor, and the presence of a substantial labour force, the DI Khan Economic Zone is well-positioned for commercial and economic success.