LAHORE: Around 700 small, medium and large scale Chinese companies are currently working in Pakistan investing in various sectors, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and the number is likely to grow in the future.

Chinese companies are interested in investing in sectors such as electronics, automotive, education exchange programmes, insurance, agriculture, textiles, shoe manufacturing, chemicals, battery recycling plant and real estate.

“We are also expecting to introduce the first Chinese commercial vehicle to Pakistani market by the end of next year,” said newly elected Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) President Wang Zihai here on Tuesday.

He told reporters at the PCJCCI office that textile millers of Shandong province were in talks with their Pakistani counterparts for re-positioning of the textile industry in Pakistan.

The All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and Punjab Board of Investment and Trade have also expressed willingness for such joint ventures that would help local textile millers upgrade their outdated technology.

Zihai said $46 billion investment deal under the CPEC was not the end for Pakistan, as fresh investments and joint ventures between business groups of Pakistan and other nations under the corridor could push the investment figure to $100 billion.

To a question about major inflow of Chinese investment in Punjab under the CPEC or business-to-business groups, Zihai argued that Punjab was a big market with over 100 million people and its infrastructure and inter-city connectivity was much better than in other provinces.

Replying to a question about balance of trade, which was inclined towards China than Pakistan, he said majority of Pakistani businessmen did not realise what was being provided to them under the Free Trade Agreement.

He said China offered zero to 5pc tariff rates for Pakistani products, which were much lenient, adding that Pakistan needed to overcome smuggling and under-invoicing to improve balance of trade.

Earlier, the second Annual General Meeting of PCJCCI was held at its office which elected Wang Zihai, chairman of all Chinese companies working in Pakistan, as the unopposed president; Ahmed Faheem Khan as senior vice president; and Moazzam Ali vice president besides executive committee members.

Published in Dawn October 5th, 2016



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