ISLAMABAD    -   A Parliamentary Committee pointed out different ambiguities and shortcomings particularly highlighting a detailed business plan of CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and its impact in providing job opportunities to the local people of the project areas.

The in camera meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on CPEC was held here under the chairmanship of Sher Ali Arbab, MNA. The Committee was briefed by the Secretary Ministry of Planning, Development and Reforms regarding the overall progress and recommendations made by the Committee in its last meeting. Moreover, the respective secretaries of the provinces also briefed the Committee about the SEZs included in the early harvest programme of the CPEC.

The Committee also appreciated the progress and work done so far by the Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad with the remarks that they will complete the project within time line shown by them in presentations and it would be a model project up to expectations of all stakeholders and play a role of driver to promote export and economy of the country.

The Chairman also welcomed the Senator Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Senator Dr. Shehzad Waseem who were recently nominated by the Chairman Senate in the Committee and further said that the Committee will be benefited by the experience and contribution of these Senior Parliamentarians.

The meeting was attended by Noor Alam Khan, Umar Aslam Khan, Ms. Zille Huma, Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Mehnaz Akber Aziz, Zahid Akram Durrani, MNAs, Senator Mir Kabir Ahmed Muhammad Shahi, Senator Dr. Shehzad Waseem and the secretaries, Ministry of Planning, Development & Reforms, Board of Investment and senior officers of Provincial Governments.

Meanwhile, a press release issued here stated that a Chinese business delegation has shown interest in the investment of $ 1 billion in various sectors in Pakistan.

Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar has said that the incumbent government is focusing on promoting export-led industry and import substitution for sustained economic growth. He stated that China can help increase Pakistan’s exports by relocating export oriented industries and initiating joint ventures in various fields. He added that this will boost industrial cooperation besides strengthening bilateral economic partnership between the two countries.

The minister was chairing a meeting with visiting Chinese business delegation here in Islamabad on Thursday. The Chinese delegation comprised CEOs and general managers from various sectors especially from the western region city of Chongqing which is leading China in automotives and several other hi-tech industries. Project Director Hassan Daud and senior officials of the Ministry were also present in the meeting.

The minister underlined that Pakistan offers liberal investment policies to attract foreign investment in different areas. He stated that foreign investors can tap the potential of local export oriented industries through joint ventures. The minister underscored that private sector of both countries should forge partnerships for mutual economic benefit of the two countries. There are investment opportunities in various sectors such as maritime, iron and steel, petrochemical, agro based industries, tourism, energy, minerals and mines and textiles, said the minister. He invited Chinese businessmen and investors to take advantage of incentives being offered by Pakistan.

Talking about CPEC, the minister noted with appreciation that CPEC has now entered in its second phase with focus on industrial and agriculture cooperation, socio-economic development and development of Gwadar. He said that establishment of industrial zones has the potential to revive Pakistan’s industrial sector adding that it will also create job opportunities besides developing local industries.

The visiting Chinese business delegation expressed desire to invest around $1 billion in various sectors in initial phase. They expressed desire to invest in various sectors in Pakistan including automotives, textiles, agriculture related industries, IT and telecom industries.