Pakistan prime minister Imran Khan has approved the establishment of 10 special economic zones (SEZs), spread across all four of the country’s provinces.
Although no official timeline has been given for the establishment of the zones, five will be located in Punjab province, two each in Balochistan and Sindh, and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
According to the prime minister’s office, the government will provide facilities such as power generation, but all other matters regarding the SEZs will be resolved in consultation with provincial governments.
Mr Khan chaired a meeting with the board of approval for the SEZs, in which he directed the authorities to set up a working group comprising the ministers for commerce, planning, energy and others, on the establishment and regulations of the SEZs.
During the March 4 meeting, Mr Khan said their purpose was to provide facilities and incentives to Pakistan’s business community. The country has committed to creating a favourable environment for investors, seen in 2019’s changes to the payment of taxes and approval of construction permits.
These efforts were reflected in a 28-place rise in the World Bank’s Ease of Doing Business report 2020, with Pakistan among the world’s top 10 business climate improvers.