The Punjab government has started a project potential enough to convert the province into a knowledge-based economy. The Lahore Knowledge Park project worth $1 billion is a combination of business, academia, and research centers.
The government considered the Lahore Knowledge Park project a few years ago and established a Lahore Knowledge Company in October 2014 to manage this mega project.
The management of this project has completed its groundwork, and the infrastructure will start by September 2016. The first phase of Lahore Knowledge Park consisting of basic infrastructure facilities and a couple of life-sciences universities will complete within the next 18 months.
Knowledge Park project has been designed on a public-private partnership model where the Punjab government would spend 20 percent and remaining 80 percent would be invested by the private sector over a period of 25 years.
This Park will be the fourth generation park prevailing on 852 acres of land located a few kilometers from the India-Pakistan border. It will consist of universities, schools, science and innovation centers, business district, residential district, green areas, and entertainment zone.
Knowledge Park will serve as a growth engine for the city and promote education in five key areas, i.e., biotechnology, life sciences, design and creative industry, computer sciences, information technology, science, and engineering. Once operational, it will create 40,000 jobs and produce 11,200 PhDs by 2040.
The project is expected to generate around PKR 173 billion in labor income and PKR 35 billion in tax revenue. The total estimated revenue over the period of 25 years is PKR 5.9 trillion, PKR 253 billion in labor income and PKR 178 billion in corporate income taxes.
Lahore Knowledge Park has gained immense popularity among local and international investors who have shown their interest to invest 100 percent. However, the government wants to keep the operational control and encourage more investors to bring their experience and innovation to this park.
The financial plan of this project has been designed by Singapore-based company Frost and Sullivan. Since the project is long-term, the successive governments need to amend their rules and regulations accordingly for the sustainability of this valuable project.