Labour-intensive industries top priority at Rashakai SEZ


ISLAMABAD, March 31  :  Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ), a flagship project of CPEC has attracted thousands of investors; however, in the first phase, preference will be given to ‘labour-intensive industries’ and companies that could positively balance Pakistan’s trade.

This was stated by Abdul Karim Tordher, Special Assistant to Chief Minister KP on Industries while talking to Gwadar Pro.

Tordher said that an area of 700 acres would be developed in the first phase at RSEZ. “Against the available 700 acres of plots, we have received 0ver 2000 applications from local investors,” he said and added that all investors are from private sectors.

According to him, out of 700 acres of land, Century Steel of China has acquired 40 acres of land and began working while many other foreign investors have shown interest to invest in RSEZ.

“Initially, preference would be given to labor-intensive industries like garments and textile as well as other industries that can positively balance Pakistan’s trade (increase exports), use indigenous raw materials, have import substitutions and can bring robotic and hybrid technologies to the country,” Mr. Tordher said and he added other general industries would be entertained in the next phase.

Talking about the development of RSEZ, Mr. Tordher said that an access road of 3.2 kilometers from Wali Interchange, Motorway-1 to the economic zone’s zero point is ready to use. The 10 megawatts electricity has been linked with the zone while work over main 60 MW electricity line from Mardan to RSEZ is going in full swing.

According to him, a total of 210 megawatts of electricity is the overall requirement of RSEZ. For phase I, the requirement of electricity is 70 MW, which is needed for the infrastructure and construction of the industries.

Abdul Karim Tordher said that work over the gas pipeline to RSEZ is also in progress. After the completion of the pipeline, the RSEZ will get 30 million metric cubic feet per day. “The work will be completed before the end of 2021,” he said.

“Pakistan Army troops have been deployed at RSEZ to ensure the security of all the investors,” Mr. Tordher added.

Speaking about the inauguration of RSEZ, he said that Prime Minister Imran Khan was due to inaugurate the zone on March 27; however, the groundbreaking did not take place as the Prime Minister was tested positive for Covid-19. “The inauguration would be marked, as the Prime Minister is fully recovered,” he said and added, “Even without a formal groundbreaking, development at RSEZ is going at full speed”.

RSEZ is located at a very important location of the country. The zone is connected to all provinces of the country via motorway, highways, airport, dry port and railway line.

Due to its proximity to Torkham, Pak-Afghan border, RSEZ possesses great importance and becomes flagship project of the CPEC. “RSEZ’s real goal would be to increase trade with Afghanistan and beyond the Central Asian states,” Abdul Karim Tordher added.