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Chinese companies offer $5bn investment

Published Oct 18, 2008 12:00am

BEIJING, Oct 17: Chinese entrepreneurs have offered to invest $5 billion in Pakistan’s defence, banking, oil exploration and mining sectors, develop Thar coal, build Bhasha and Kohala dams and launch PakSat-1R in 2011. The offers were made during meetings with President Asif Ali Zardari, who concluded his four-day official visit and left for Pakistan on Friday.

Heads of the business delegations said they were ready to intensify cooperation in defence production, oil and gas, energy, poly-technologies, electronics, hydropower generation and other sectors.

They took deep interest in business, trade and investment opportunities in Pakistan.

Among leading industrialists and business tycoons who called on President Zardari at the State Guest House included chairman of Northern Industries Ma Zhigeng, chairman of Poly Technologies Zhang Liansheng, chairman of the CETC Yan Lijin, president of Sinohydro Fan Jixiang and Liu Minkang of the Chinese Banking and Regulatory Authority.

A delegation of China International Water and Electricity Corporation (CWE) met President Zardari and offered to invest $1.7 billion in Bhasha and Kohala dams.

“We just met President Zardari and the talks focused on Bhasha and Kohala dams,” the deputy general manager of CWE, Jin Zheping, told the media after the meeting.

Mr Jin said CWE was involved in “conceptual development” of Bhasha dam with Chinese hydroelectric power generating groups and also with Wapda, adding that an MoU had already been signed.

Mr Jin said the president had told the delegation that the government wanted Chinese entrepreneurs to visit Pakistan to acquaint themselves with the investment climate.

Ma Zhigeng, the chairman of Norinco, offered cooperation of his company in oil exploration and defence production sectors.

He said that new ventures in oil and gas sectors were also discussed during the meeting with the president.

He said that the company had already invested $30 million in oil exploration which would be further increased.

The Chairman of Poly Technologies, Zhang Liansheng, offered technical assistance and investment in oil exploration and generation of electricity from coal-fired power plants.

He said his company could also play an important role in expanding bilateral cooperation in media and education.

The business leaders said Chinese banks would set up branches in Pakistan to take advantage of the country’s economic growth potential.

SATELLITE LAUNCH: Earlier a spokesman of the China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC), the space industry concern, said that a Long March 3B rocket would be used to put the satellite into orbit. It will be launched from the Xichang satellite launch centre in China’s southwestern Sichuan province.

The company said ground control facilities for the satellite would be delivered to Pakistan’s Space and Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (Suparco) after it entered into orbit.

The satellite will have a lifespan of 15 years and Pakistan will use it for domestic telecommunication and broadcast services.

The president was seen off at the airport by Chinese Assistant Foreign Minister Hu Zhengyue.

During his four-day stay, President Zardari held talks with President Hu Jintao and Premier Wen Jiabao on issues of regional and international concern.

The talks focused on strengthening Pakistan-China strategic partnership and cooperation in trade, investment, defense, banking sector and science and technology.The president also met the Chairman of the National People’s Congress, Wu Bangguo, and the Chairman of the Chinese People’s Political Consultative Conference, Jia Qingling.

Business executives, heads of financial institutions and corporate leaders called on Mr Zardari.