Pakistani Ambassador to China makes an invitation to leading Chinese entrepreneurs
NANNING: Pakistan’s Ambassador to China Moin-ul-Haque on Saturday invited the leading Chinese entrepreneurs to come and take advantage of the conducive and investment-friendly environment and a number of incentives offered by the government in Pakistan.
Addressing the participants of the China-Pakistan Trade and Business Forum held on the sidelines of the China-Asean Expo, being held in Nanning, China’s Guangxi Region, the ambassador said: “A number of ongoing and planned projects being completed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) provide tremendous investment opportunities for the Chinese companies.”
Ambassador Haque said that China is the largest source of foreign direct investment and the multibillion-dollar CPEC, a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative is moving smoothly and transforming the socioeconomic landscape of Pakistan.
“After upgradation of infrastructure, transportation and energy projects during the first phase of the CPEC, our focus is now on industrialisation, science and technology, socioeconomic development and poverty alleviation, etc,” he added.
There are vast investment opportunities in the special economic zones being developed under the CPEC, of which three had already been developed.
The ambassador said the present government has decided to shift its focus to geo-economics, making Pakistan a hub of economic activities and regional connectivity.
Sharing certain unique aspects about Pakistan, he said, Pakistan’s geographical location, growth potential, and conducive policies offered by the government make it an attractive destination for the overseas investment, especially for the Chinese enterprises.
He said Pakistan shares borders with China and the country is at the crossroads of South Asian, Central Asian and Western nations, and has the potential to act as a bridge.
Pakistan has a population of 220 million, fast growing middle-class and 60 per cent of its young population offers good prospects.
Pakistan is rich in natural resources such as gold, marble, gemstones, copper, chromite, and it also has untapped reservoirs of oil and gas, the ambassador said.
He informed the businessmen that Pakistan has a strong agricultural base and fertile land and is among the top 10 countries, particularly in the production of cotton, sugarcane, rice and wheat.
With the investments from China in the agriculture sector, it can become a very important source of food supplies to the Chinese market.
Ambassador Haque said that the present government offers very attractive and liberalised policies for the foreign investors and also allow them to export their goods to other countries, as well.
About the business and investment forum, he said, it has been organised as part of the celebrations of the 70th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Pakistan and China.
Ambassador Haque also expressed gratitude to the Chinese side for inviting Pakistan as a special partner country to the China-Asean Expo for the second time.
The Pakistan Pavilion set up in the exhibition area of the expo would lead to further expand trade and business cooperation between Pakistan, China and other Asean countries.
Regarding Pakistan-China trade, he said, it has registered rapid growth. Today, China is Pakistan’s largest trading partner. Last year, with the launch of the second phase of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement, various goods from the two countries have access to each other’s market.
In the first-half of the current fiscal year, Pakistan’s exports to China increased 88 per cent, while the bilateral trade with Gunagxi Region increased 50 per cent, compared with the last year, and exports to Guangxi also increased 350 per cent, he added.
Guangxi Autonomous Region vice governor Liu Hongwu said that Pakistan and China have a long history of relations and friendship. Both the countries helped each other in times of need.
The high quality of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a unique example of economic cooperation between the two countries.
The vice governor offered cooperation in fields of agriculture, science and technology, education and people-to-people exchanges.
He expressed the confidence that China-Asean Expo would provide more opportunities to Pakistani enterprises to enter into Chinese and Asean countries’ markets.
Vice Minister of Commerce of China, Ren Hongbin, said that the friendship between Pakistan and China is time-tested and has been growing with the passage of time.
He mentioned Pakistan’s support to China in different times and said Pakistan recognised the new China in early years and helped it during the natural calamities, particularly the earthquakes.
China is the largest trading partner of Pakistan and has made investment in Pakistan’s different mega projects such as Gwadar Port, Peshawar-Karachi Motorway, Orange Line and Karakoram Highway project, etc, which have injected a new impetus to relationship between the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong sent a video message to the forum and expressed the hope that the Chinese enterprises would make a good use of the CAEXPO platform and strengthen cooperation, unleash the potential and promote development of economic and trade cooperation between China and Pakistan in a deep and wide ranging way.
Syed Hamid Ali, additional secretary of the Ministry of Commerce, addressed the audience via a video-link.
China Gezhouba Group International Engineering Co Ltd chairman Lv Zexiang and China Road and Bridge Cooperation deputy president Ye Chengyin shared their experiences during implementation of the different development projects under the CPEC framework in Pakistan.
A signing ceremony of the memorandum of understanding on friendly cooperation with the CAEXPO Supporting Chamber of Commerce of Special Partner Country and Agreement on Pakistan Pavilion of the China-Asean Mercantile Exchange was held via a video-link.
A video on achievements in bilateral cooperation between the two countries over the past seven decades was also screened.