GUANGZHOU, China: President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday invited the Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to benefit from Pakistan's geo-strategic location as well as its trade and economic potential for a win-win situation for the two neighbourly nations having time-tested ties.
“I invite you to take advantage of the geo-strategic location, trade and economic potential and the warm waters of Pakistan, which has all the ingredients to become a progressive and developed country,” the President said while addressing the corporate leaders of the Guangdong province here at the Pakistan-China (Guangdong) Forum on Economic Reconstruction.
Besides the Chinese business leaders, the Forum held here on the sidelines of the 16th Asian Games and jointly organized by China Council for the Promotion of International Trade and Pakistan Consulate in Guangzhou was also attended by Vice Governor of Guangdong province, Liu Kun and representatives of Guangdong provincial government.
The President said Pakistan-China strong bonds, the seeds of which were sown by Shaheed Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Chinese leader Mau Zedong could be further strengthened through united efforts and going together in economic development.
He said China which was fast emerging as the world economic leader can use the trade and economic potential of Pakistan as a multiplier force for its further development growth.
The President said Pakistan has been a security centric state for long, but the country cannot achieve progress and development through this approach, adding, “Pakistan and China can grow like brothers, which we are.”
Referring to close and brotherly relations of Pakistan and China, he recalled that “when the floods catastrophe hit northern areas of Pakistan (Gilgit-Baltistan), the Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan called me and offered all out assistance.” This is not a friendship but brotherhood,” he remarked.
About the recent devastating floods in Pakistan, the President said the people and government of Pakistan have the will and resilience to covert this catastrophe into opportunity.
He invited the Chinese construction companies and entrepreneurs to help Pakistan in the reconstruction and infrastructure, destroyed and damaged by the recent floods.
The President also invited the Chinese companies, particularly from Guangdong province, to help Pakistan in the establishment of a new city, Zulfikarabad, in Sindh province.
He asked the Chairman BOI to stay back in Guangzhou and have consultations with the Chinese construction companies in this respect.
The President urged the Chinese corporate leaders and entrepreneurs to help Pakistan in achieving the goal of enhanced economic development and prosperity by investing in various infrastructure and development projects.
He said that in the journey towards post floods economic reconstruction, there were immense opportunities for Chinese businesses for partnership and investment.
The President said that there were many areas including infrastructure development, rehabilitation of irrigation system, housing, hydro power, alternate energy that offer opportunities for cooperation.
He invited the investors from China, particularly from Guangdong province to become Pakistan's partner in reconstruction and development of Pakistan. Chinese investment in Pakistan is vital to our economic development, he said.
The President said that there existed a great potential between Pakistan and China to further expand their bilateral trade and Pakistan was keen to welcome greater Chinese investment in the country.
He said that Pakistan and China have established a Joint Investment Company (JIC) with the help of China Development Bank to assist joint ventures and signed the Free Trade Agreement on goods and services, which were helping integration of Pakistani and Chinese economies.
The President said that the Government has put in place policies directed towards rapid economic growth, employment generation, poverty alleviation and encouragement of the private sector.
He said that by energizing the private sector the Government wanted to step up agricultural and rural growth, ensure water security and invest in the energy infrastructure.
The President said that attractive opportunities exist in a number of sectors of economy including energy, oil exploration, cement and housing for investors from China reiterating that the Government was committed to provide an investment friendly environment.
Mentioning the relaxed share-holding restrictions in the sectors of construction, telecom, finance, healthcare, environmental protection, tourism, transportation research, and development, the President assured that from an investor's perspective, Pakistan remains an attractive destination.