The announcement by the Prime Minister’s Office of incoming investment from Chinese businesses worth $5billion in the next three to five years is one of the few positives regarding the economy we have heard in recent times. After a meeting with 55 businesses executives – the largest delegation of investors from China – investment in small to medium enterprises of varied sectors such as construction, automobile, information technology, research and power is to be expected.

The benefits such an investment brings to the industrial sector is quite clear. If the Pakistan government ensures that any money injected by foreign nationals does not entail handing them complete control and ownership in the firms receiving foreign capital, local shareholders in these businesses can help expand industry as a whole and hopefully, permanently.

The most direct benefit is employment; job creation is very important in a country that has a population of over 200 million. With rising inflation and decreasing purchasing power, the creation of jobs should be one of the main priorities of the government, and any outside investment that potentially creates new job opportunities for a youth-dominant workforce will be helpful in both the short and long term.

Pakistan has a significant number of skilled workers that cannot find employment opportunities currently, investment into different areas will help benefit the tertiary sector as a whole. As a long run goal, looking to turn the economy into one that is labour-intensive by focusing on bringing more foreign investment into small and medium enterprises will help in achieving a stable growth trajectory for the next thirty years so; something the country desperately needs in the long-term to get the economy out of the current borrowing cycle it has been stuck in for decades.

The aim for this government, since it has made promises to provide fixes for decades of mismanagement, should be to work towards a larger goal. Merely plugging the leaks in the economy will not be helpful and it is hoped that this promise of Chinese investment materialises and the government also induces other businesses around the world to fund growth in this country.