KARACHI: Deputy Consul General of China Dr Mu Youngpeng has reiterated his government’s commitment to motivate the private sector to invest in industrial projects across Pakistan, particularly those that exist in the southern deep sea port of Gwadar.
Talking to local journalists, he said setting up industries and associated schemes are possible once infrastructure is in place. He expressed his confidence that significant investment with direct bearing on the lives of the general public and national economy could be witnessed once the ongoing development work is completed.
Mu extensively referred to Shenzhen, a south eastern city of China and an underdeveloped area only a couple of years ago, that is now a city connecting Hong Kong to mainland China.
“It has become the centre of attraction because of the developed industrial base,” he said.
Mu said that the Chinese government offered tax incentives, free water and other free utilities to attract investment in the area despite, reservations from various circles.
“How can we ask investors to come until there is a proper road network,” he said. The diplomat added that under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) announced in 2014, a number of Chinese companies have partnered with the Pakistani government to develop dilapidated roads and deteriorating energy infrastructure.
The CPEC is financing rail-based mass transit, special economic zones, energy, infrastructure and Gwadar-related projects, Mu said.
He reminded everyone that the Chinese government has initiated infrastructure development with major focus on construction of roads, sea port development and building an airport in Gwadar.
In reply to a question, he said responsibility now lies on the part of the government to provide basic utilities in the area.
Mentioning that China started the $57 billion CPEC project connecting its southern western province Xinjiang to Pakistan and Gulf countries, he said. “Gwadar is the southern centrepiece of China’s ambitious plan of building energy and infrastructure.
“Inception of transportation on the corridor has already fuelled trading activities in Gwadar,” he said.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 4th, 2017.