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China becomes major business partner of Pakistan

Published on 18th Jan, Edition 3, 2016

 

PBC discusses business projects with 100 Chinese investors

Choosing Pakistan under the flagship of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) as investment destination by China has altogether brought a paradigm shift about the perception of Pakistan as the world economic players have included Pakistan on their business map, said Arif Habib, a leading industrialists and a senior member of Pakistan Business Council on the sidelines of a strategic business session with 100 Chinese investors organized by Pakistan Business Council (PBC) held in Karachi.

Sindh is the major beneficiary of CPEC

It is unfortunate to see uncalled for politically motivated hue and cry from different political quarters regarding route of CPEC which begins from Balochistan enrouted through the province of Sindh, Punjab and KPK to its last connection at Kashgar the western part of China.

The negative press statement from different quarters regarding route of CPEC will serve no purpose but may cause harm to his mega project, which in fact based on partnership between two friendly countries and would mostly dominated by the private sectors of China and Pakistan, said Mohammad Ali Tabba, who leads yet another leading and most respected business house of the country.

Being a joint project investment program, CPEC involves different projects ranging from coal-based power projects to nuclear power projects and wind power projects besides construction of railway tracks, airport, maritime projects, industrial parks etc, the most of CPEC sponsored projects in coordination with the private sector investors, are located in the province of Sindh. Hence the top beneficiary of this mega project would be the province of Sindh, which is expected to activate the coal resources of Thar coal field for power projects and coal mining in which the government of Sindh is also quite active.

In order to avoid delays on the part of bureaucratic or government organizations approval of projects, initially the federal government is entering into agreements, which would be ultimately transferred to the private sector.

In fact this investment project is not a loan to Pakistan but a joint venture efforts and whatever is being invested by Chinese investors would have to be payback with the completion of the different projects.

Perception of Pakistan

It will be important to mention here that the Chinese investment program in Pakistan has done a wonder by brushing aside the negative propaganda about perception of Pakistan and the historic decision has helped changing the global perception of Pakistan as the most attractive destination for doing business in Pakistan and as a result most of the global economic specialists, critics and analysts have put Pakistan on global business map. The credit for his paradigm shift in approach of global investors certainly goes to Chinese economic decision about Pakistan.

It will also be not out of place to mention that Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif who is currently participating in the World Economic Forum being held at Davos, Switzerland said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was not mere a route, but was an ‘economic revolution for the entire region’ and would strengthen economies of the regional countries.

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has also reposed his confidence in the capacity and strength of the private sector in Pakistan said that his government has complete faith in the private sector and its contribution in growth of the national economy and that is why the government facilitating the private sector through a liberal economic regime in Pakistan.

It is pertinent to mention that China has become Pakistan’s major trading partner with volume of trade reaching an all-time high of US$12.299 billion in 2014-15. Around 100 eminent Pakistani businesspersons were invited to this event by Ministry of Commerce and Pakistan Business Council.

Bashir Ali Muhammad Chairman of the Pakistan Business Council, while addressing the Chinese delegation here this morning said “The alliance between China and Pakistan has always been one of our strengths.” This relationship covers many different areas, including industry, economics, energy, trade and investment, to name a few. I hope we continue to not only maintain this relationship, but to enhance it further through initiatives like this event”.

“It is not just about building road and railway networks or energy projects but also about a myriad of business and social activities that will create employment opportunities and lead to a higher level of growth in the country’s GDP. It will have a positive impact, not just on Pakistan-China trade but will also encompass Central Asia”, PBC Chairman expressed his confidence.

The China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) MoU, which was signed in July 2013, is the more recent development in the economic relationship between the two countries. It is expected to be a watershed in the trade and investment relations facilitating the prospective trade and investment opportunities arising from this game-changing project that have generated a lot of interest among the Chinese and Pakistani businesses.

Pakistan Business Council hosted a session for the delegate of 100 Chinese investors. The session included B2B interactions with premier Karachi-based businesses; the Chinese delegation was briefed about the investment opportunities and potential in various sectors of the country.

Ambassador Sha Zukhang, Head of the Chinese Delegation — who was also the chief guest of the session-briefed the attendees about the initiative and interest of Chinese businessmen in supporting the economy of Pakistan. He also admired the efforts made towards China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) through dedication of various stakeholders in both countries.

A brief presentation to the Chinese delegates and audience was made by local stakeholders including Ejaz Ali Khan the Additional Chief Secretary for Planning and Development in Sindh, Wasif Abbas the Secretary for Energy, Director General Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, the Secretary for Commerce, Industries and Investment and Private sector representatives on the Thar Coal Project. The presentations summarized the investment opportunities and potential of the local market for the delegation.

As a consequence of these developments, China-Pakistan Friendship Association (CPFA) has planned to bring a 100-member delegation of prominent Chinese businesspersons representing the private sector, entrepreneurs and investors. This is in order for them to explore trade and investment opportunities in energy, infrastructure, textiles, agriculture, engineering, telecommunications and mining sectors of the economy.

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