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Chinese help sought for new shipyards

September 18, 2007

BEIJING, Sept 17: Adviser to prime minister on Finance Dr Salman Shah held important meetings with key Chinese bankers, financial institution and shipbuilding companies for cooperation in setting up two giant shipyards in Pakistan during his visit to China.

“The basic purpose of these meetings was to hold discussions with Chinese for setting up two giant shipyards with a capacity of 600,000 dwt to be built at Gwadar and Port Qasim,” said a senior official at Pakistan Mission here while briefing APP about the PM adviser’s Adviser meetings in Dalian.

Mr Shah was in Dalian, a coastal city in northeast China’s Liaoning province to represent Pakistan in the “New Champions” seminar organised by World Economic Forum (WEF) from Sept 6-8.

The adviser, he said, besides participating in various forums, also held very important bilateral meetings with presidents of EXIM Bank and ICBC, chairman of China Banking Regulatory Commission, chairman of China International Capital Corporation, China Development Bank, the MMC, a reputed financial institution and prominent entrepreneurs dealing with ship building with basic purpose of cooperation in ship-building project.

The shipyards to cover an area of about 500 acres each and that include two dry docks of about 600,000 dwt thus catering for manufacturing heavy ships.

He said that Pakistan was desirous to build these shipyards in cooperation between Pakistani private sector and Chinese corporate and participation by the government.

He said the government was concentrating on the development of shipbuilding industry in the country and establishment of two new shipyards with bigger docks would ensure accommodation of giant vessels.

He said this would also usher in a new era of economic activities, creating new jobs thus improving the standard of living of the people.

The commercially strategic location of Pakistan is a take-off point for

such projects.

The next 50 years, he added, will see a growing demand for new ships around the world, which is expected to increase manifold in future.

In these meetings, the official said, Dr Shah also briefed them about the vast prospects available in Pakistan in diverse fields of economy for investment.

He also informed the Chinese officials about the salient features of the joint Sino-Pak 5-Year economic development programme, free trade agreement and China specific special economic zones being developed in Pakistan and the opportunities available for Chinese investors there.

He said that Dr Shah also informed them that as per study conducted by a reputed international consulting company by the year 2050, Pakistan would emerge as the 4th largest workforce in the world and therefore, it has the capability to become the sound base of manufacturing industry in the world.

As per demography of Pakistan its 54 per cent population comprises 19 years of age bracket and soon they would be part of the economic growth.

By this, the adviser said that Pakistan’s growth prospects had brightened to new height, though at present too the country is sailing with excellent economic growth.

He said that due to such an excellent economic growth, the WEF had recognised Pakistan as ‘Champion Economy’.—APP