Ahsan Iqbal unveils “OnePlusFour” strategy to accelerate SEZs under CPEC

Prof. Ahsan Iqbal, Minister of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives (PD&SI) during a meeting with Chinese Ambassador Jiang Zaidong on Friday presented the “OnePlusFour” strategy for accelerating Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) framework.

Mr. Iqbal informed the Chinese Ambassador that the Government of Pakistan aimed to align the 5Es Framework with the future developments under CPEC in Phase II.

The 5Es framework comprises five key areas including export-led growth: emphasizing the need to harness Pakistan’s potential in agriculture, industry, IT, mining, and manpower export to achieve export-led growth and address trade deficits.

The Minister stated that under the OnePlusFour model, each SEZ in Pakistan would be partnered with one province from China; one industry group to develop specialized clusters within the SEZs; one SEZ from China to provide technical expertise, and a state-owned enterprise to spearhead SEZ development.

This collaborative framework would expedite the establishment and growth of SEZs in Pakistan, enhancing their competitiveness and attractiveness to investors.

Discussions also centered on enhancing regional connectivity, with a special emphasis on critical infrastructure projects like the Gwadar Port and the M-8 Motorway, which will enhance trade links and facilitate regional integration.

Both officials reaffirmed their commitment to the strategic vision of CPEC, recognizing it as a cornerstone of bilateral cooperation.