SLAMABAD: The Global Climate Risk Index has ranked Pakistan as the world’s fifth most vulnerable country to climate change.
According to a report by Wealth Pak, Pakistan needs to promote environmentally friendly policies for the nine special economic zones to be set up under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor to ensure sustainable development.
The creation of special economic zones is aimed at attracting foreign direct investment, increasing the country’s gross domestic product, creating employment opportunities, improving regional connectivity and boosting exports.
The second phase of the Belt and Road Initiative project focuses on economic recovery after the successful completion of the initial programs of the first phase.
Special economic zones are areas of free trade where the relevant laws are designed to attract foreign and domestic investors by allowing certain tax exemptions.
Special Economic Zones experiences vary in speed and efficiency, but they are very successful in stimulating the economic development of a country.
China has more than 30 years of experience in developing special economic zones, which is playing a significant role in its development.
It focuses on adopting economic and social values for sustainable economic development rather than following the development model that leads to environmental disasters.
Foreign investment accounts for about 50% of total investment in China’s special economic zones. Pakistan is also trying to imitate the Chinese model.
Pakistan will also have to ensure that foreign investors do not exclude small or local businesses from supply chains in special economic zones. This can best be done by encouraging joint ventures between local and foreign investors.
Pakistan’s infrastructure planners have also renewed their commitment to environmental and social sustainability while encouraging industrialization to comply with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals that are best for maintaining environmental standards. Emphasize the implementation of industrial methods.
The Asian Development Bank’s long-term strategic framework emphasizes environmentally sustainable development. It calls for the inclusion of environmental protection in the country’s policies and investment programs by enhancing the capacity of public sector entities in the legal, regulatory and enforcement framework.
This framework emphasizes the need to identify key factors for success in new industrial and economic dynamics. The Global Climate Risk Index ranks Pakistan as the world’s fifth most vulnerable country to climate change in 2020, so it is important for authorities to ensure a ‘green’ C-pack.
In view of these challenges, the government is trying to strike a balance between resolving the immediate economic problems of the people and ensuring that industrialization does not lead to environmental degradation.
Pakistan has also pledged to move towards renewable energy. The government has initiated large-scale afforestation initiatives as well as sustainable waste management and protection programs to address the environmental issues arising from the development of special economic zones.