ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar Monday encouraged the Chinese investors to explore more investment opportunities in industrial, agricultural and information technology areas under the umbrella of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
He said that due to the special relationship between Pakistan and China, the government and people of Pakistan would wish to see much greater investment from China.
He solicited the support of Chinese companies working in Pakistan to attract more foreign direct investment from China in the country.
Chairing a meeting of Chinese investors working in Pakistan hosted by the CPEC Authority here, the minister asked the Chinese investors to seek help from the Authority in case of any issue.
He said a facilitation center had also been set up in the Authority to provide help to the Chinese investors.
Further, he said, a CPEC Cabinet Committee had also been set up to resolve the highest level policy issues besides establishing a Pak-China relationship Steering Committee to resolve the day-to-day CPEC related issues.
The minister informed that Prime Minister Imran Khan was taking a keen interest in the CPEC projects and was convening regular meetings in this regard.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on CPEC Affairs Khalid Mansoor, Chairman Board of Investment (BOI) Azfar Ahsan, and Ambassador of China to Pakistan Nong Rong attended the meeting which was participated by CEOs and representatives of over 70 Chinese companies. A number of companies joined through a video link as well.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on CPEC Affairs briefed the participants on the latest developments with regard to CPEC and stated that Phase-II of the CPEC is aimed to enhance the bilateral cooperation in Industrial, Technological and Agricultural sectors. He said that business-to-business collaboration would be the hallmark of this phase of CPEC.
He highlighted that 4 out of a total 9 agreed to Special Economic Zones (SEZs) along with Gwadar Free Zone under the auspices of CPEC are at advanced stages of development and investors have started to populate these SEZs.
Pakistan offers regionally competitive incentives in SEZs including 10 years of income tax exemption and exemption of customs duty on import of capital goods. He further stated that CPEC Authority is setting up a facilitation centre for CPEC investors.
He also assured the Chinese Independent Power Producers (IPPs) that the government would clear all their outstanding dues.
The Ambassador of China expressed his appreciation for the event which brought together all the Chinese companies. He said that Chinese enterprises will work closely with CPEC Authority to increase their business and investment activities in Pakistan.
CEOs of various companies also spoke on the occasion and presented their ideas and suggestions for consideration of the government.