LAHORE/BEIJING. On Tuesday, PM Imran Khan held a meeting with a Chinese delegation of investors at Lahore’s Governor House, whilst Mr. Javed Afridi led the meeting.
These Chinese investors from approximately 100 investment companies, proclaimed their eagerness to investigate the opportunities of investing in different Pakistani sectors.
They proclaimed that the country has immense potential for investments. They added that the CPEC has opened more avenues to stimulate growth within the SME’s (Small and Medium Enterprises).
The Chinese investors are especially willing to invest in SME’s located in the Gujrat, Gujranwala & Sialkot Triangle.
The Prime Minister expressed the present government’s commitment to make procedures easier for foreign investors to do business in Pakistan.
The framework of existing regulatory measures will be streamlined, simultaneously. Thus avoiding waste of both time & resources for prospective investors.
PM Khan assured the investors that Pakistan is embarking upon a path of economic stability, whilst the government is focusing on SME’s in particular because it results in generating employment whilst it relieves poverty.
China will be providing market accessibility to 90% of merchandise from Pakistan at a rate of zero duty, to assist the country to rectify trade imbalances.
It is estimated that this will increase Pakistani exports to China with $500 million, according to Phase II of the free trading agreement, between the two countries.
A Chinese Economic Net report stated that China will be investing $1 billion into 27 projects in health, education, irrigation, agriculture, poverty alleviation and human resources development sectors.
According to statistics, the CPEC initiative had established 70,000 direct job opportunities for locals during the previous 5 years, whilst the per capita income showed an increase of 23%.
Incomplete statistics, regarding 17 projects under the CPEC, showed that an amount of $930 million in taxes was paid to the Pakistani government.
After the construction started under the CPEC, the GDP growth in Pakistan during the 2013 to 2014 fiscal year, increased to 4.14%, compared to the 3.7% of the precedent fiscal year. This growth was maintained and during the 2017-2018 fiscal year, it hits 5.79%.
In a report from the Chinese Embassy (Economic & Commercial Counselor’s Office) to Pakistan, it was stated during phase II of CPEC, industrial cooperation based upon special economic-zones will be promoted and prioritized.
Investing in the private sector as well as the creation of joint enterprises will be encouraged.
Recently, Muhammad Hammad Azhar, Pakistan’s newly designated Federal Minister of Economic Affairs, whilst meeting the Chinese Envoy to Pakistan, Yao Jing, reconfirmed his support for both China as well as the CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor).
The Chinese Ambassador said Minister Ashar has valuable experience in both financial & economic work. He added according to his opinion, he will be leading the Ministry of Economic Affairs to play a significant role in Pakistan’s social and economic advancement.
During the past 5 years, the cooperation between China and Pakistan, where energy is concerned, showed rapid progress. Seven energy projects were completed and rolled-out, meeting 8.6 million households’ electricity demand.
During 2018, the Sahiwal- and Port Qasim Power Stations were combined which generated above 16 billion kwh’s electricity, supplying one-quarter of the country’s generating capacity.
The Pakistan government called the Sahiwal Power Station a miracle within the history of the country’s electric power.
Where infrastructure is concerned, Pakistan’s rail transit project, the ‘Orange Line’ conducted by a Chinese enterprise.started to operate during 2018. This decreases travel time from 2 and a ½ hours to a mere 45 minutes, thus saving approximately 70 percent of the time for local citizens.