Pakistan offers attractive business, investment opportunities for Chinese, ASEAN investors
BEIJING-Pakistan Ambassador to China Moin-ul-Haque has urged the business and investment community of China and ASEAN countries to tap into the vast and virgin market of Pakistan, particularly with regard to the several Special Economic Zones (SEZs) being set up under the transformative China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In this regard, he highlighted Pakistan’s special relations and comprehensive strategic partnership with China and the deep-rooted and wide-ranging links with ASEAN countries. He made these remarks in his welcoming address during the Trade and Investment Promotion Conference, organized by Pakistan Mission in Nanning, the capital city of Guangxi-Zhuang Autonomous Region of China on the sidelines of the ongoing 17th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO).
He said Pakistan has a strategically located sharing borders with China, India, Iran, and Afghanistan. It rests at the crossroads of South and Central Asia, West Asia, and connects China with the Arabian Sea. “So, it is becoming a very important regional connectivity hub, as well as a central place of trade and commercial activities,” he added. Ambassador Haque said that Pakistan is the sixth-largest country in the world in terms of population, offering a market of 210 million people and has a very strong and flourishing agriculture and livestock sector.
He said Pakistan is rich in natural resources, mineral resources, adding, it has abundant resources of gold, marble, gemstones, copper, chromite, gold, and also vast reservoirs of oil and gas which are still untapped. He said the incumbent government was establishing special economic zones for investments and special economic zones were being facilitated through one window operation and all the facilities including gas water electricity, fiber-optic network, and roads were being built to provide connectivity. As with many countries, Pakistan is the scene of the fastest growing service sector, which now contributes more than 50 percent to our Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and a very attractive investment regime. He informed the investors that the government has recently undertaken many reforms and to liberalize its economic and financial sectors, both for domestic and international investors. Ambassador Haque expressed the confidence that Chinese investors would take advantage of this golden opportunity to increase trade linkages with Pakistan and also to make profitable investments in Pakistan as well as the special economic zones which were being established across the country.
He also expressed gratitude to the Ministry of Commerce of China and the CAEXPO Secretariat for giving full representation to Pakistan in this year’s Session. Earlier, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Trade and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood opened the conference with a recorded video speech. Expressing satisfaction over Pakistan’s participation as a special partner country, Abdul Razak Dawood highlighted the economic reforms and business-friendly policies of the Government that have led to macroeconomic stability and a conducive environment for business and investment. Stressing upon the great significance of the China-ASEAN region to the economy of Pakistan, the Adviser welcomed investors from the two regions to avail the golden investment opportunities in the Special Economic Zones that were facilitated by supportive policies and attractive tariff and tax concessions. He assured full support and protection for Chinese and ASEAN investments in Pakistan.
The conference was also addressed by prominent Chinese government officials and business leaders, including Huang Shiyong, Member Standing Committee of Guangxi CPC; Han Songling, Marketing Director of Guangzhou Metro Group; Li Yanfeng, General manager of CIHC Pak Power Company; and Ou Xinglin, General Manager TianHe Tobacco International Company Limited. They highly evaluated the investment landscape of Pakistan and the supportive policies for Chinese investors. Commercial Counsellor at Consulate General in Guangzhou, Muhammad Irfan gave detailed briefings on the trade and investment potential of Pakistan, along with videos on tourist attractions and Emerging Pakistan.
Bilingual brochures on the investment landscape and CPEC special economic zones were distributed among the participants that included a large number of entrepreneurs from China and ASEAN countries. It may be mentioned that CAEXPO is the largest government-sponsored, trade, and investment-oriented expo in the China-ASEAN region representing 11 regional countries with combined GDP of nearly 17.5 trillion US Dollars and a consumer market of two billion people. Pakistan is attending this year’s session as a special partner country for the first time since its inception in 2004.