Suzhou Industrial Park, a landmark industrial project in China, is a model for the construction of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan, said Ahmed Shahzad from the Board of Investment at Prime Minister’s Secretariat, in an exclusive interview with China Economic Net (CEN). Covering an area of 278 square kilometers, the Suzhou Industrial Park (SIP) is acclaimed as “an important window of China’s opening-up initiative”. For five consecutive years from 2016 to 2020, it ranked first among all the national-level economic development zones in China. “The development of industrial zones, parks, or export processing zones play a very important role for developing countries and are pivotal to attract foreign investments. SIP is such a masterpiece that registers impressive annual growth in key economic indicators”, appraised Ahmed. “Pakistan’s journey of SEZs was a little late, but much progress has been made so far”. After adopting the concept of SEZ with the commencement of the SEZ Act 2012, the Pakistani government has been encouraging national and foreign investors to set up industrial infrastructures focusing on export, import-substitution, transfer of technology, and employment generation. “I think these are shared practices by Pakistani and Chinese policymakers in terms of SEZ establishment”, Ahmed observed. So far, 24 SEZs have been approved or notified, and nine are proposed under CPEC. Set up by the Federal or Provincial Governments themselves or in collaboration with the private sector under different modes of public-private partnership or exclusively through the private sector, SEZs offer an assortment of fiscal incentives such as one-time exemption from customs duties and taxes for certain goods and exemption from all taxes on income for ten years. A series of strategies such as the Pakistan Regulatory Modernization Initiative Strategy (PRMI), Special Economic Zone Management System (SEZMIS) & Investor Relationship Management System (IRMS) were newly launched this year to provide a friendly business environment, especially for Chinese enterprises to relocate their businesses under CPEC industrial cooperation. “Our seniors frequently meet with high-level Chinese officials to open up new horizons of cooperation”, Ahmed said. Coming back from China, his connections with China was not severed hence.