Only in five months of its formation in January this year, the Special Economic Zone Management Information System (SEZMIS) has enlisted record 70 enterprises as active units of SEZs as compared to 200 in the last eight years, cited by the State Bank’s report on Special Economic Zones in Pakistan.
SEZMIS is a digital solution for the registration of zones for BOA’s consent and assign plots and zone enterprise status to enterprises within the zone through an application made to the SEZ Committee. In this way, it has amplified the competence of the filing system and helps to contribute towards making a qualifying business environment.
The latest regulations reveal that potential zone enterprises have to give an online application to acquire land from the originator and apply for zone enterprise status through SEZMIS kept by the Board of Investment (BoI).
Moreover, the State Bank examined the existing SEZs condition in Pakistan with the relative study of the region as well as a global trend.
SBP said that the two key bases and notions of SEZs across the world are islands of excellence and laboratories for policy reforms. “In both these conceptions, the SEZs in Pakistan have room for improvement,” the SBP added.
Furthermore, the report presented by SBP said, “There have been some positive developments recently, such as the passing of the SEZMIS regulations, which prevent real estate speculation.”
Though that apparition is yet to be completely executed, the one-stop-shop has not been set up, while overlying management purposes have led to interruptions in the provision of infrastructure and utilities.
“In addition, policy frameworks to ensure a business-friendly climate in SEZs with respect to skilled labor and facilitative legal environment have not been announced,” said the report.
“A concerted effort is required to address the challenges to the growth of SEZs in Pakistan, by graduating the SEZ framework from one that focuses on first-time colonization to one that also provides direction on operation and maintenance, financing, sustainability, monitoring and operation, and so forth,” said the report.