lahore

Pak-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) president Shah Faisal Afridi has said that China has planned to replicate the model of Shanghai free Trade Zone at Gawadar. He informed that under the Early Harvest Programme, China had planned to pump $50 billion up to 2017 into a host of projects in Gawadar including coal, solar and wind energy units enabling Gawadar to create a nexus between Pakistan, Iran, China and Central Asian States that would ultimately generate billions of dollars in revenues along with endurable job opportunities.

Faisal Afridi explicated that Shanghai free Trade zone is a perfect model to be implemented at Gwadar at the sideways of Economic Corridor. He said that the zone that was first used as a testing ground for a number of economic and social reforms in China showed marvelous success regarding economic growth. He added that SHFTZ incorporated numerous relaxations in different sectors. Under the FTZ’s new capital registration system, foreign investors are no longer required to contribute 15-percent capital within three months and full capital within two years of the establishment of a foreign invested enterprise (FIE).

Furthermore, “one-stop application processing platform” was introduced at the zone. This means that applicants may obtain all the necessary documents for company establishment in one place, in contrast with outside the Zone where applicants must run around between different authorities for the issuance of various certificates. Afridi added that under the new regulations, at SGFTZ foreign invested enterprises (FIEs) registered in the FTZ may now make foreign exchange capital account settlements at their own discretion, as opposed to under the previous rules, where settlements were restricted to those deemed to be “actual needs” by SAFE. The Free Trade Zone permitted yuan convertibility and unrestricted foreign currency exchange, and a tax-free period of 10 years for the businesses in the area as a means to simplify the process of foreign direct investment (FDI) and facilitate the management of capital accounts. Faisal Afridi said that, Pakistani and Chinese government is considering to introduce in Gwadar a Free Trade Zone similar to Shanghai free Trade zone in terms of special business incentives, the vision aims to turn tides on the region’s economic horizon.