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Special economic zone project under CPEC to change destiny of region: Pakistani PM

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 14 (Xinhua) -- Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said on Monday that the Rashakai special economic zone (SEZ) to be developed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in the country's northwest Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) province will change the destiny of the area by bringing in employment opportunities for the general public.

Addressing the signing ceremony of the development agreement of the Rashakai SEZ, here, the prime minister said that poverty is being reduced in KP due to efforts of the provincial government, but despite that, employment opportunities are very limited in the province and people have to leave their families behind to find employments in other parts of the country and overseas.

"I am elated that the formation of the SEZ will enhance industrialization in the province and people will be able to find employments without having to leave their homes in the pursuit of livelihood."

Talking about the role of CPEC in regional connectivity, the Pakistani prime minister said that with peace in Afghanistan, Pakistan will be connected to Central Asian countries that will use CPEC for trade, which will bring development to the entire region.

He said that his country is focusing on industrialization, and with the development of the Rashakai SEZ and others of the kind, Pakistan can attract Chinese industries, and benefit from it.

The China Road and Bridge Corporation (CRBC) and the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Economic Zones Development and Management Company will jointly implement the Rashakai SEZ project. According to the CRBC, the Rashakai SEZ project will play an exemplary and leading role in terms of the industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan, facilitating the high-quality development of CPEC.

The Rashakai SEZ is expected to cover about 1,000-acre land, and will be developed in three phases, said the CRBC, adding that considering Pakistan's resources and market needs, the potential industries in the SEZ are mechanical equipment, domestic appliance, food processing, textile and construction materials.