LAHORE: Consul General of Pakistan in Chengdu Muddassar Tipu has said that Pakistani businessmen need to conduct studies and research before they come to China in search of business or trade opportunities.
“We always welcome Pakistani businessmen in Chengdu, and are ready to help them, but I have learned that local businessmen lack the homework. They do not know what exactly they are looking to avail there,” Tipu said while speaking at the inaugural ceremony of the Pak-China Inter-Industrial Mobility programme on Wednesday.
The programme has been initiated by the Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) to mobilise potential industries of both countries through a series of trade fairs, exhibitions, conferences, and symposiums.
Tipu further said that this is the age of globalisation and local businessmen should strengthen their research and development work. “You have to talk to textile workers in China if you are looking for some venture rather than talking to the whole Chinese government,” he added.
He further said that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is going to connect the region, which could bring prosperity in regional countries. “The world has been divided in different blocks, and they are doing business in a competitive world,” he said, adding that Pakistan’s learning curve has significantly improved after CPEC.
PCJCCI President SM Naveed said the government has addressed a few concerns of local investors by giving a level playing field. “Foreign and local investors can now enjoy a tax break of ten years, and duty exemption on machinery imports, however some other points are under negotiations”, he said.
Naveed further said that it is not easy for Chinese manufacturers to relocate in Pakistan. “Currently, the first phase of CPEC, which is an infrastructure development, is under way. The second phase will include establishment of special economic zones by the time some rules and regulation could be finalised, as currently no rules exist,” he said, adding that till date there is no duty exemption on import of raw materials.
“This can give a level playing field to already established manufacturers,” Naveed added.
The other speakers spoke of inter-industrial mobilisation as a systematic approach through which the participants are provided an opportunity to visit, see and learn about the market trends, potentials, operations and challenges of each other’s industries.
According to them, industrial mobilisation provides a good understanding of key issues, available opportunities, prospects, and remedial measures during the mobilisation process.
Moreover, they correlated the significance of such mobilisation with the upcoming and ongoing CPEC projects. The mobility programme encompasses a four-pronged strategy ie to expand market linkages, promote industrial relocation, technology transfer and ultimately to bring massive employment opportunities in Pakistan.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 8th, 2018.