CPEC: Planned industrial cities to be set up along corridor
FAISALABAD (APP): New Economic City of the Punjab Urban Unit project manager Ali Agha said that new and planned industrial cities would be set up in close collaboration with private sector and in line with the future needs of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Addressing the FCCI (Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry) members here on Tuesday, he said that earlier, he had visited Faisalabad for pre-feasibility study of proposed economic city to be set up along Motorway (M-2) near Lilla.
He said that Punjab Government was keen to incorporate the inputs of local industrial and business community to make it fully operational as soon as possible.
He clarified that site selection was not final. Hence, this job was entrusted to a foreign consultant. "During the study once again Lilla is on top of the list and it helps us in deciding the ranking of other proposed sites," he added.
"I am also going to propose a CPEC University and CPEC TV in addition to water transportation facility through Indus River which will be 10 times cheap as compared to other modes of transportation," he said.
Samita Khawer of Frost & Sullivan explained the salient features, aims and objectives of this study and said that this study consisted of three parts i.e. (i) whether the market has capacity to set up a new city, (ii) selection of site for this city and (iii) implementation.
She said that in future new viable and sustained cities could be developed by linking industry with urban development. She said that after Islamabad, no new planned city was set up in Pakistan which had necessitated the development of a new city. In this connection, she appreciated the efforts of the Punjab government.
Nadeem Khurshid, Senior Urban Planning Specialist of the Urban Unit said that objective to set up new city did not mean that the government was ignoring the existing cities.
He said, "The government is fully concentrating on the existing cities and is also planning to develop new cities that can cater to our future needs."
In this connection, he told that he had contributed his role in Master Planning of Faisalabad under World Bank and during last two years, investment of Rs 40 billion had been made only in Faisalabad.
He termed that decision of the government to declare five industrial estates including M-3 Industrial City as Special Economic Zones, was a big step towards rapid industrialization in the country.
He further said that the government had also decided to set up combined water treatment plants in all industrial estates currently lacking this facility.
He said that they would organize road shows in China and Turkey in addition to holding awareness seminars in various parts of the country. He said that Chief Minister Punjab Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif intended that local business community must be involved in the planning of new economic cities.
Earlier in his welcome address, Chaudhry Muhammad Nawaz President FCCI said that he was going to visit China. The ultimate objective of this visit was to attract Foreign Direct Investment from China.
"We are also expecting joint ventures with Chinese entrepreneurs and this visit will help us to finalize negotiations with other counter parts," he added.
He also quoted the example of China and said, "The Chinese government had been making planning for a new and fully developed country many years ago. We should also take futuristic steps to develop new cities which will become necessary during next 5-10 years."
He said, "Chinese investors are also prepared to invest in Pakistan and we have to provide them trained and skilled manpower."
He further said that FCCI had set up first ever CPEC Cell to provide CPEC related information to its members, adding that other people could also get this information from the Cell.