ISLAMABAD -  Punjab Governor Rafique Rajwana has said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a game changer for Pakistan and it will not affect the local industry.

He said that Chinese authorities had assured they were interested in joint ventures with Pakistan in CPEC projects and this arrangement would enable the local industry to flourish. He said this while addressing the business community at the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He said there was a need to provide vocational training and skill development to youth to produce skilled labour for CPEC projects and curb unemployment.

He said the business community was the backbone of the economy and the government would take measures to create conducive environment for business activities. He said that all economic indicators were showing positive trend and this had been recognised at international forums. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had offered the Kissan Package and an incentive package for exporters. He said the government wanted to take further initiatives to facilitate the growth of business activities.

He said the ICCI should send a written proposal and he would take up it with relevant authorities for establishment of a new industrial estate in the Islamabad Region. He said the FBR should take measures to minimise the trust deficit between tax collectors and taxpayers. He assured that he would take up the highlighted issues of the business community with the concerned departments for remedial measures.

Speaking on the occasion, Khalid Iqbal Malik, president of the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said that a few years ago the CDA had started acquiring land in Sector I-17 for a new industrial estate, but due to a lack of funds the project could not materialise. He said the Punjab government should plan an industrial estate in the Islamabad Region under the CPEC project as this region offered a great potential for promotion of trade with China, Afghanistan and Central Asian countries. He was of the opinion that a new industrial estate in Islamabad would help create more jobs, promoting industrialisation and business activities in the region.

He said that ICCI in collaboration with the Chakwal Chamber of Commerce and Industry had developed a proposal for establishment of an industrial estate at Nila Dulla Interchange in Chakwal District. He said the Punjab governor should play his role in materialisation of this important project.

Khalid Malik, senior vice president; Tahir Ayub, vice president of ICCI; Khalid Javed; Muhammad Ejaz Abbasi; Zafar Bakhtawari; Nasir Qureshi; Sheikh Pervez Ahmed; Nasira Ali; Khalid Chaudhry and others also spoke on the occasion.