ISLAMABAD - Chairman-designate Board of Investment (BoI) Haroon Sharif has called upon the private sector to become partner with the government in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and tap all possible opportunities of JVs and investment in this mega development project.

Speaking as chief guest at a seminar titled “Emerging Pakistan under CPEC Policy Framework” organized by Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) here on Thursday, Haroon Sharif said that CPEC was an excellent example of Pak-China growing friendship and was critical for the economic development of Pakistan. He assured that the government would provide level-playing field to local and foreign investors in CPEC. He said Pakistan’s economy was facing structural challenges and the current government was taking measures to address these issues. He said investment-to-GDP ratio in Pakistan was less than 15 percent that needed to be doubled to accelerate economic growth.

The chairman-designate BoI stressed that the private sector should play enhanced role in economic development of the country. He said he intended to introduce latest technology in BoI to facilitate the local and foreign investors. He lauded the ICCI initiative for organizing seminar on CPEC. Speaking at the occasion, President ICCI Sheikh Amir Waheed said that business community has lot of expectations from CPEC and government should ensure equal opportunities to local and foreign investors in SEZs. He said govt should take private sector fully on board on CPEC and share its full detail with them so that business community could exploit all potential business opportunities in CPEC projects.

Sheikh Amir Waheed said ICCI has set up a CPEC Facilitation Cell that needed close cooperation of BoI to facilitate private sector for JVs and investment in CPEC. He said the ICCI wanted to organize more seminars on CPEC in foreign countries and BoI should cooperate with Chamber in such endeavors.

Addressing the seminar, Jaing Han, Political Counselor, Embassy of China said that CPEC would bring progress and prosperity to Pakistan. He said Chinese investors were interested in CPEC and Pakistani counterparts should accept them with open heart. He said that Prime Minister of Pakistan would soon visit China for which preparations were in full swing. He said during his visit, a long agenda of items including SEZs, trade, social development, agriculture, construction of dams, economic & technical cooperation and ICT would be discussed to further strengthen bilateral cooperation. He said private sector of Pakistan could take benefit from Chinese expertise and technology practices by setting up JVs with them in CPEC.

Senior Vice President ICCI M. Naveed Malik, Vice President Nisar Mirza, Chairman ICCI Gwadar Committee Naeem Paracha, Khalid Mehmood, Baser Daud, Khalid Chaudhry, Babar Chaudhry and others also spoke at the occasion and gave useful suggestions for successful execution of CPEC.