A Chinese construction company, Golden Bean, will invest 2 billion Chinese yuan (Rs32.8 billion) in Punjab to construct a state-of-the-art amusement park near Lahore, and a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) is expected to be inked in a few days, said Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) Chairman Abdul Basit.
“The investment includes an amusement park, a hotel and a commercial centre on the outskirts of Lahore, preferably near the Lahore-Islamabad Motorway,” he added.
Basit informed that currently, the Punjab government was looking for land, approximately 200 acres, to initiate the project.
The company would also construct the road network of the province. “These constructions would not be the main corridors scheduled to be built under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but will link other cities to it,” he said.
Punjab government is in close negotiations with different Chinese states and companies to invest in the province at business-to-business (B2B) and government-to-government (G2G) level.
According to Basit, the PBIT is briefing two Chinese delegations per week that are showing interest in investing in different sectors of the province.
Foreign as well as local investors in the province are facing many issues with regards to the materialisation of their projects, the biggest out of which is land security and protection from land grabbers.
The other issue is the lack of coordination between different provincial and federal departments, also termed as bureaucratic hurdles or red tape, that results in delays and even cancellation of projects.
However, Basit said the PBIT is trying to counter these challenges. “We are close to the completion of a facilitation centre where about seven departments will provide facilities to foreign and local investors under one roof.
“As for land-related issues, the Punjab Overseas Pakistani Commission will address them to further streamline things.”
Basit was hopeful that once the corridor project gathers pace, the inflow of foreign investment would increase. “The real challenge is to invite overseas Pakistanis living in Europe and America to invest in their home country.”
“We are creating an enabling environment for them so they can feel their investments are secure,” he added.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 30th, 2015.
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