The establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) is a lengthy, expensive, and long-term orientated endeavor. Proper selection of SEZs is indispensable to meet the objectives of export-led growth and value up-gradation. Consideration of sustainability issues in such planning under the Zone 3.0 paradigm is critical to achieve Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030. Multiple key factors such as location, linkages, labor force, suitability of industries, incentives and facilitation, and market orientation are important in decision-making process of establishing SEZs. Furthermore, environmental conditions and resource availability need to be considered in the planning and policy making processes to keep symmetry in the natural environment and ecosystem of the areas under consideration for SEZs. The present study uses Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) methods in the perspectives of green industrial zone planning and development in Pakistan under the flagship project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI). This research uses Delphi method, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP), and the Fuzzy Vlse Kriterijumska Optimizacija Kompromisno Resenje (VIKOR). The Delphi method has been used to identify the main criteria, sub-criteria, and their weights for 3 SEZs under consideration. The results of AHP analysis unfolded that the majority of the experts believe the location and land aspect is the most pivotal criteria in setting SEZs followed by linkages, subsidies, and facilities criteria. Finally, the results of Fuzzy VIKOR analysis considering environmental sustainability reveals that Faisalabad SEZ is the best suited under given criteria and sub-criteria.
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