LAHORE: Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will create new business opportunities for Chinese companies in many sectors of the economy as investors are planning to invest $5 billion in Pakistan over the next three to five years, said Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing.
Talking to Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq on Friday, the ambassador appreciated Pakistan government’s business-friendly policies and pledged Chinese investment in various small and medium-sized industrial sectors.
“Pakistan has been a longstanding trade and strategic partner of China and we have plans to increase investment under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and increase imports from Pakistan to make it an economically strong and independent country,” he said. “We look forward to speedy completion of the projects included in CPEC.”
He voiced hope that following complete implementation, CPEC would help create employment opportunities and provide better health and educational facilities. Punjab would become a hub of investment in future, he said.
“Cooperation from China will be extended for the development of human resources,” he said, adding that shifting the manufacturing sector to Pakistan would be an important step.
Welcoming the ambassador’s remarks, FIEDMC Chairman Mian Kashif Ashfaq said they reflected China’s trust in Pakistan’s growing economy and a strong desire to translate Pakistan-China ties into a win-win economic partnership.
He stressed that the government was facilitating investors and removing impediments in the way of ease of doing business in Pakistan.
He asked Chinese companies to shift some of the manufacturing plants to Pakistan for overcoming the high labour cost.
Ashfaq added that new businessmen and investors were investing in the Faisalabad industrial estate, particularly overseas Pakistanis from Dubai, the United Kingdom, the United States and other countries. The industrial estate would play host to textile, pharmaceutical, food, cereal, cosmetics, electrical panel and power industries as well as rice processing plants, he said.
Ashfaq also asked the ambassador to invite Chinese furniture manufacturers to the upcoming Interiors Pakistan exhibition.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 19th, 2019.