ISLAMABAD - Praising the country’s economy as capable of absorbing and capitalising the direct foreign investment, the Chinese investors have expressed their interest in launching a new airline in Pakistan for which they would be discussing modalities with the Government of Pakistan .

The representatives of a consortium of Chinese investment companies comprising China Huarong International Holdings Limited, China Innovative Finance Group Limited, Hong Kong Tian Group, Chandong Hi-Speed Group and China Road & Bridge Group yesterday met Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif at the PM House.

Warmly welcoming the delegation, the Prime Minister appreciated the Chinese delegation’s fruitful interaction with Ministries of Finance, Petroleum & Natural Resources, Water & Power and Capital Development Authority.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that members of the Chinese delegation will have a productive visit in the backdrop of briefing by various ministries about immense potential for investment in Pakistan’s infrastructure development, energy and communication sectors.

Appreciating the prudent and practical measures taken by the government for the revival of the national economy, the members of the delegation said that Pakistan is fully ready as well as capable of absorbing and capitalising the Foreign Direct Investment.

The delegation apprised the Prime Minister that they are bringing $3 billion Investment Fund to Pakistan because of the vision of the Prime Minister that focus on infrastructure development and energy sectors.

The Chinese delegation also expressed its intent to explore possibility of starting a new airline in Pakistan after the permission from the Government of Pakistan .  The Chinese side said that it is actively pursuing its investments in infrastructure, power, aviation and tourism sectors of Pakistan .

“We fully appreciate the vision of Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif which enunciates that economic prosperity is an offshoot of infrastructure connectivity and self-sufficiency in the energy sector,” the members of the delegation stated.

The Prime Minister expressed his gratitude to the leadership and brotherly people of the People’s Republic of China for their all weather support that is getting stronger with each passing day. The CPEC is a game changer that is going to transform the lives of the billions of people of the region, the PM said.

He said that the economic outlook of Pakistan has altogether changed in the last three years, which is being acknowledged globally. Standard and Poor’s (S&P) has also upgraded Pakistan’s ranking to B from B-; Pakistan is among this year’s global top 10 improvers in Doing Business 2017, the Prime Minister expressed with satisfaction.

Inflation is continuously on downward trend while reduction in petroleum prices also helped in decreasing inflation, he further added. He said the Foreign Exchange Reserves have now increased to over $24 billion. 

“Our Investment Policy has been designed to provide a comprehensive framework for creating a conducive business environment for the attraction of FDI,” the PM said. Pakistan 's policy trends have been consistent, with liberalisation, de-regulation, privatisation, and facilitation being its foremost cornerstone, he stated. The Law of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) has been made to meet the global challenges of competitiveness to attract Foreign Director Investment (FDI). 

Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar, Minister for Petroleum and Natural Resources Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, Chairman Board of Investment Miftah Ismail, Mayor Islamabad Sh. Ansar Aziz and other senior government officials were also present during the meeting.

CPEC WESTERN ROUTE TO BE

COMPLETED BY 2018: MINISTRY

APP adds: The spokesman of Ministry of Planning and Development and Reforms said on Friday that work on the Western corridor of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is progressing in full swing and reaffirmed that the route would be completed by 2018.

The 650 km long Gwadar-Quetta section of the Western route has already been completed which according to the given time line was to be delivered in December 2016, this shows the work pace is not only smooth rather we are moving on fast track and ahead of time.

He made these remarks while clarifying a news item appeared in a section of the Press regarding CPEC and maintained that the points raised by honourable members in a meeting of Senate Committee on CPEC are inappropriate based on lack of information.

In a statement issued here, the spokesman stated that completion of the Western route would bring a new era of development and prosperity for the people living in the underdeveloped areas.

He said that construction work on the 285 km DI Khan-Hakla Road has also been commenced.

The spokesman said, CPEC is a multi-sectoral cooperation between Pakistan and our all weather friend China.

All decisions regarding CPEC projects and its execution are made with mutual consultation keeping in view the interests and well-being of the people of Pakistan , he said.

Therefore, the apprehensions expressed by the honourable members of the Senate Committee on CPEC are baseless and unfair, he added.