RAWALPINDI     -   Malaysian High Commissioner in Pakistan Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim has urged Malaysian business communities and key players to seize the opportunities offered within Pakistan’s market, specifically the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project.

Addressing the inaugural session of Pakistan-Malaysia Business Opportunities Conference (BOC) being organized by Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) at a local hotel in Kuala Lumpur Monday, he said the CPEC project – a 15-year master plan under the ‘One Belt, One Road’ (OBOR) initiative – is a chance for local businessmen to look into, and penetrate, the market which includes roads and railways that would stretch from the Western Chinese city of Kashgar in China’s Xinjiang province to Pakistan’s second-largest port of Gwadar.

“Ever since the recent governments’ changes and exchanges of the head of states’ visits, the countries are now moving to a greater level of partnership and cooperation.

“The CPEC megaproject is a huge market opportunity that could not be missed by Malaysian business players. This is where the Malaysia-Pakistan Business Council (MALPAK) should play their big role in facilitating business meetings and help to boost the business linkages on both ends”, he added.

The BOC gathered more than 300 participants – including about 150 Malaysian companies – representing various sectors including tourism, pharmaceutical, chemical, plastic, textile, surgical goods, furniture and construction.

Pakistan’s Chargé d’Affaires to Malaysia, Atif Sharif Mian, said CPEC would continue to create more joint investments in the long run.

“In terms of Pakistan’s context, the project is a US$40-50 billion investment and it is going to upgrade all the infrastructures as well as across other (sectors of) Pakistan’s economy. It is a big corridor and definitely will bring in more traffic for investments.

“Malaysia, in this regard, is globally known as good at providing services and expertise on railways, roadways and construction, thus the country can also invest in this project,” said Atif.

Earlier in his welcoming speech, RCCI President Malik Shahid Saleem said Malaysia and Pakistan could do more to increase and enhance the bilateral ties shared to date.

“The focus of the BOC was also to promote and engage the private sectors from both sides because at the end of the day, though governments have helped to facilitate the efforts, it is the private sectors that would need to find opportunities for increasing trade and investments’ purposes,” he said.