Sindh Board of Investment: The lynchpin of development
Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, Director General Sindh Board of Investment
The Sindh Board of Investment is a focal point for investments in the Sindh region, and successfully collaborates between the public and private companies
Sindh in Pakistan has the potential to develop as an economic and energy hub of the region. The region is brimming with immense economic prospects that can be harnessed through sustained public-private collaboration. Consequently, the Sindh Board of Investment is identifying opportunities and is playing a pivotal role in building relationships to bring public objectives closer to private aspirations.
The vision of SBI is to develop and promote an investment-friendly environment that boosts economic activity, brings value addition to all sectors and encourages public private partnership for socio-economic development of Sindh.
SBI assists companies and investors in investing in Sindh as well as facilitates the implementation and operation of projects. SBI acts as a focal point of contact for prospective investors, both domestic and foreign, and acts as one-stop window to provide all necessary information and assistance in coordinating with other Government Departments/Agencies.
Initiatives taken by SBI
Sindh Education City (EC) project is among the selected projects of the Government of Sindh. The EC comprises 8,900 acres in Gaddap town. Twenty local and foreign institutions have been allocated land to develop their academic campuses and some have completed their detailed design to commence construction of their campuses.
Some of the active institutions include:
- Arfa Karim IT & Media City
- Karachi Education Initiative (Cambridge University)
- Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto Institute of Science & Technology
- Sindh Madressa Islam University
- Sindh Institute of Urology & Transplantation
- Quaid-e-Azam Public School
- Judicial Academy
- Sir Syed University of Engineering & Technology
- Ziauddin University
- Saleem Habib Foundation
- Habib Foundation
- Aga Khan University
- Roots School System
- All Pakistan Memon Federation
Marble City Project in Karachi has tremendous investment and growth potential for the entrepreneurs based on high-end industrial knowledge, innovation and services. Marble City is planned over 300 acres of land along Northern Bypass.
Special Economic Zones
The government of Pakistan has identified three Special Economic Zones so far, all are based in Sindh: Khairpur Special Economic Zone, Bin Qasim Industrial Park, and Korangi Creek Industrial Park.
Khairpur SEZ: Developed by the Government of Sindh on 140 acres of land on the national highway, the Khairpur SEZ is being developed as a future hub for agro-processing and other related industries.
Bin Qasim Industrial Park: Spread over an area of 930 acres near port Qasim, Karachi, this park is being constructed at an estimated cost of Rs9.8 billion. The project is envisioned to fetch Rs50 billion direct investments, and contribute Rs100 billion to the GDP and generate direct employment for 50,000 individuals.
- 90 per cent development work is completed
- 650 KVA of electricity is provided through SEPCO on site
- A dedicated 20MW Waste to Energy Captive Power Plant, which would ensure an uninterrupted power supply to all the enterprises within the zone
The project has been designed to cater to the needs of medium and large-scale entrepreneurs aspiring to invest especially in the engineering sector and the steel industry of Pakistan. The proposed industrial clusters under the zone include engineering and equipment, chemicals and food, logistics and consumer goods.
Korangi Creek Industrial Park: The Korangi Creek Industrial Park is developed on 240 acres of land and located in sector 38 of Korangi Industrial Area, Karachi. The estimated project cost of the project is Rs3.8 billion. The project is visualised to bring Rs20 billion direct investments and contribute Rs40 billion to GDP and generate direct employment for 30,000 individuals.
The Industrial Park is divided into two zones: A low-density zone for industries and a high-density zone for commercial sectors. The low-density zone will include industrial units of food and pharmaceuticals, garments and textiles, light engineering, packaging and printing, warehousing and logistics. The high-density zone will exclusively promote information technology, gems and jewellery and other ancillary and allied sectors.
Entrepreneurship Development Programme
The Entrepreneurship Development Program (EDP) was aimed at designing and conducting a programme on entrepreneurship along with hands-on training in order to prepare the rural youth of Sindh to develop their capacity to pursue agriculture business in their province. The pilot project has been successfully completed and showed positive impact on the community.
Sindh Enterprise Development Fund (SEDF)
Through the fund, the government is facilitating access to finance to approximately 2,000 red chilli growers. A subsidy of approximately Rs300 million will be given to red chilli growers over a period of three years as interest rate subsidy, which will make farmers economically sustainable and provide them affordable finance.
The Government of Sindh has also embarked upon Balancing Modernisation and Replacement (BMR) of obsolete and old machinery of rice husking mills in upper and lower Sindh through the State Bank of Pakistan and financial institutions. This will create efficiency and assist rice millers to compete in the international market by improving the quality of their product.
So far, financial assistance of around Rs160 million has been committed to various agro-based SME projects. In the future, the fund would encourage shrimp farming; help in the development of a fruit pulping/ concentrate unit at Larkana; date processing plant at Khairpur SEZ; and Controlled Atmosphere Cold Store at Sabzi Mandi Karachi and subsequently in other cities.
The MNCs and local companies have been successful in Pakistan. They are present in almost every sector of Pakistan's economy, especially in the consumer durable market and oil and gas sector. Companies such as Shell, BP, Caltex and Total are making good profits. Korean giants LG and Samsung have become market leaders in electronic goods. The soft drink market of Pakistan is monopolised by US multinationals Pepsi and Coke. Further, brands like Unilever and P&G have dominated the FMCG market. Currently, 600 companies operate in Pakistan, of which 170 are MNCs. A few of these include: Standard Chartered Bank (Pakistan) Limited, Siemens Pak Limited, Shell Pakistan Limited, ICI Pakistan, Unilever, Lotte Pakistan PTA Limited, ENGRO Corporation Pakistan, National Foods Limited, and Lucky Cement Pakistan.
Investment Conferences, Roadshows Seminars and Exhibitions
SBI is instrumental in promoting investment potential of Sindh among foreign and local investors. It has successfully marketed investment potential of Sindh through a number of international and local events in various countries, including Germany, South Korea, China and the UAE.