ISLAMABAD: The government on Monday hosted a marketing session for about 70 Chinese companies as it seeks to trigger the second phase — industrial development — of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
CPEC Authority (CPECA) chairman Khalid Mansoor briefed the chief executive officers and representatives of the Chinese companies on latest developments on the CPEC horizon, various business opportunities and incentives for investment.
Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar, the Board of Investment chairman and Chinese ambassador in Islamabad also attended the session. Some Chinese companies joined it through video link.
Mr Mansoor told the Chinese companies that phase-II of the CPEC was aimed at enhancing bilateral cooperation in industrial, technological and agricultural sectors for which business-to-business collaboration would be a hallmark of success and opportunities, according to an official statement.
Govt readies to launch second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor
He highlighted that four out of the nine agreed on special economic zones (SEZs) along with Gwadar Free Zone under the auspices of CPEC were now at an advanced stage of development and investors had started populating these SEZs.
“Pakistan offers regionally competitive incentives in SEZs, including 10-year income tax exemption and exemption of customs duty on import of capital goods,” he said, adding that the CPECA was setting up a facilitation centre to provide all kinds of support to the CPEC investors. This will be a platform for serving as one-window operation for the investors through coordination with various ministries as well as the provinces.
Explaining the importance of phase-II of the bilateral cooperation, the CPECA chairman said the key objective was to accelerate socio-economic development of Pakistan by bringing industrial, technological and agricultural revolution through Chinese investment and transfer of technology.
For this to achieve, he added, focus was on export growth (in areas like textiles, information technology, etc) and import substitution (like steel, agricultural productivity, etc) sectors by creating local employment opportunities and promoting joint ventures to make Pakistan a manufacturing hub.
Mr Mansoor said the CPECA would enable ‘plug & play environment’ for development of special economic zones by empowered SEZs management companies to facilitate investors so as to create strong linkages with key state and economic entities in China.
Asad Umar urged the Chinese investors to explore more investment opportunities in industrial, agricultural and information technology areas. He said that due to a special relationship between the two countries, the government and people of Pakistan would wish to see much greater investment from China.
He solicited the support of Chinese companies working in Pakistan in order to attract more foreign direct investment in the country.
The Chinese ambassador expressed his appreciation for the event which brought together all the Chinese companies and said Chinese enterprises would work closely with the CPEC Authority to increase their business and investment activities in Pakistan.
Published in Dawn, November 16th, 2021