CPEC group established in UK parliament

House of Commons member says move is aimed at highlighting investment avenues

Imran Rana February 26, 2019
The sun rises over the Houses of Parliament in London, Britain. PHOTO: REUTERS

FAISALABAD: Following an improvement in the security situation, Pakistan government is striving to attract maximum foreign direct investment (FDI) despite daunting internal challenges, said United Kingdom House of Commons member Faisal Rasheed.

Speaking to a meeting at the Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI), Rasheed revealed that he had established a CPEC (China-Pakistan Economic Corridor) group in the UK parliament.

“The purpose of this forum is to raise awareness of the opportunities to be created following the completion of this mega infrastructure project, which is part of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI),” he pointed out. “I had a meeting with the Chinese ambassador in order to formally launch this group in September 2019.”

Noting that the business environment in Pakistan had improved considerably, Rasheed announced that British investors were now keen to undertake energy and logistics-related projects.

He was of the view that investment in Pakistan would enhance job opportunities for the youth besides generating wealth for the stakeholders.

Pointing to the Afghan war and the 9/11 incident, he regretted that Pakistan had suffered badly. “As a result, several foreign banks and institutions shut their businesses over security concerns,” he pointed out. “A few foreign airlines also diverted flights after the issuance of travel advisories.”

However, he explained that after the change of government, the situation improved considerably, adding that he had two meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, who was also eager to attract FDI.

Although Pakistan was facing daunting internal and external challenges, the direction was correct, he declared and voiced hope that it would yield positive results in the next five to six years.

He emphasised that the government of Pakistan should focus on enhancing trade instead of seeking aid from other countries. “Being chairman of the International Trade Committee of the UK parliament, I will give due importance to Faisalabad in my trade strategy,” he stressed.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 26th, 2019.

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