Islamabad : A 23-member delegation of Chinese entrepreneurs led by Cen Hongkai, Deputy Secretary General of Zhongshan Municipal People’s Government, visited Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry to hold B2B meetings, explore business matchmakings, strengthen economic cooperation and promote trade & investment with Pakistan. The delegation was representing enterprises of trade, building materials, home appliances, lighting, machine & equipment and project contracting etc. Representatives of Board of Investment, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Development of Authority were also present at the occasion.

Speaking at the occasion, Cen Hongkai, head of Chinese delegation said that Pakistan and China have huge potential to further enhance mutually beneficial cooperation and complement economies of each other. He said Pakistan has made attractive investment policies, which provide lot of investment opportunities to Chinese investors. He said Pakistan is an important country in South Asia offering good business prospects that has prompted Chinese entrepreneurs to come and explore Pakistani market for business matchmaking, joint ventures and investment.

He said recent visits of Prime Minister and President of Pakistan to China and signing of MoUs of cooperation in various fields truly reflects the keen urge of the leadership of both countries to further strengthen and deepen bilateral relations.

Highlighting the economic potential of Zhongshan City, he said after 30 years of reforms and opening up, the city has fostered 23 industrial clusters in the fields of home appliances, hardware, lighting and casual wear etc. Zhongshan’s GDP in 2013 reached $44.51 billion with exports of $35.63 billion and outbound investment of $422 million. 18 Fortune Global 500 corporations have set up 26 enterprises in Zhongshan, which shows its rising economy and huge business potential. He said Pakistani investors should visit Zhongshan City and join hands with Chinese counterparts for economic prosperity of both countries.

Addressing the delegation, Shaban Khalid, President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), said that Pakistan feels proud of its historical and time-tested friendship with China. He said Pakistani people have great regard & respect for Chinese government and people. He said being located at a strategic location, Pakistan offers tremendous opportunities of foreign investment in all major sectors of its economy including energy, exploration of mineral resources, oil & gas, manufacturing, agriculture & services sectors etc.

He said many Chinese companies are already working in Pakistan and rendering valuable contribution in infrastructure development, energy & other projects. He emphasized that more Chinese investors should come to Pakistan as lot of positive things are happening in Pakistan. Pak-China Economic Corridor and grant of GSP Plus status to Pakistan by the European Union have created lot of new opportunities for local and foreign investors. It is high time that Chinese investors should set up joint ventures and make direct investment in areas of interest in Pakistan.

Shaban Khalid said Pakistan and China have signed a Free Trade Agreement and entrepreneurs of both countries should take more initiatives to fully exploit this facility for promoting bilateral trade. He assured that ICCI would provide all possible cooperation in bringing Pak-China private sectors even closer for further promoting bilateral trade and economic relations.