LAHORE, Dec. 21 (APP): Minister of State and Chairman of the Federal Investment Council (BoI) Mohammad Azfar Ahsan said on Tuesday that Pakistan follows a liberal investment regime and facilitation is its main cornerstone to inspire investor confidence and create an environment conducive to attracting local and foreign investment.
He also invited investors, businesses and the industrial community not only from China but also from other countries to come and invest in various sectors in Pakistan.
He expressed these views in his welcome speech at the inaugural session of the Punjab Industrial Cooperation Section of the CEPC and the B2B (business to business) investment conference, at a local hotel. The Prime Minister’s Special Assistant (SAPM) on CPEC Khalid Mansoor gave a detailed presentation on CPEC plans, “The Way Forward for the Industrialization Process in Pakistan”.
Provincial Minister of Industries and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal gave the opening speech on behalf of Chief Minister of Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar Federal Secretary BpI Fareena Mazhar spoke of “Pakistan investment regime” , while Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong and Pakistani Ambassador to China Moin -ul-Haque shared his views via video link.
Azfar Ahsan said the BoI is undertaking regular activities with high marginal impact to attract and sustain productive investment in a set of sectors that collectively promise massive jobs and export-oriented labor-intensive industrialization. .
He also thanked the Chinese participants and said that they have always supported the BoI in its bilateral business and investment cooperation initiative. CPEC’s industrial cooperation is a long-term endeavor that is gaining momentum in recent times, being CPEC’s lead investment agency since 2016, the BoI has made notable progress.
Azfar Ahsan said that now that the second phase of the CPEC has started, the BoI will continue to take the lead in investment promotion, facilitation and industrial cooperation. The first phase of CPEC demanded a leading role from government, while the second phase calls for an increased role for industry, the private sector and the business community.
The role of government would now be that of facilitator and it develops effective policies, laws and infrastructure to facilitate B2B and people-to-people relationships. He said that CPEC’s industrial cooperation is comprehensive in scope and open to third party participation.
The Minister of State and Chairman of the BoI said the government has already launched favorable policies such as the electric vehicle policy, the mobile manufacturing policy, the construction sector policies, the 2020 regulations on economic zones. Specials (SEZs) for unique businesses and the administration and sale of SEZ businesses. -Lease of Plot Regulation 2021 to increase investments in Pakistan.
The BoI has been mandated to promote, encourage and facilitate local and foreign investment, and in this regard several initiatives have been undertaken by the government of Pakistan such as ease of doing business and regulatory, structural and fiscal reforms.
To meet the demands for industrial cooperation, he said, the BoI, together with the China Council for the Promotion of International Investments, recently developed the Pakistan-China B2B investment portal to feed Pakistani companies’ data. worthy of Joint Ventures. with interested Chinese companies.
Provincial Minister of Industry and Trade Mian Aslam Iqbal said Pakistan, especially the Punjab, with its highly skilled workforce and natural resources, is ideally placed to serve as an advanced manufacturing base for industries from China and other countries.
He said Pakistan and China are celebrating 70 years of brotherhood, and their leaders and the people have always supported each other. He believed that such regular business interactions are the most important to effectively implement the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor.
CPEC is a great bond of mutual socio-economic growth between the two countries, creating investment opportunities not only for China and Pakistan but also for the whole world, he noted.
Mian Aslam Iqbal said that with a 6th population, excellent road infrastructure, connectivity via rail and air links, large industrial base, green agricultural landscape and more than 500,000 graduates produced every year; The Punjab is one of the most preferred investment destinations in the world.
He added, as the CPEC now becomes fully operational after the completion of the first harvest projects and the start of the second phase which will culminate in industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China, Punjab has a vital role to play.
This second phase of CPEC requires focusing on industrial cooperation, increasing agricultural production, value addition and trade connectivity in all sectors of the economy in order to learn and expand our market access, he added.
The Minister said, “Industrial collaboration and mutual cooperation in socio-economic segments, which are the top priority of both sides, will help us to create a win-win situation for our people. The China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (FTA-II) signed during Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China in 2019 would open new avenues to improve trade between the two countries and solve the problem of the balance deficit commercial.
The current global economic situation requires Pakistan and China to work more closely to fully harness the potential of CPEC and CPFTA II and other regional cooperation frameworks.
Mian Aslam stressed, “Today we all need to take strong action to promote and highlight the investment regime, industrialization framework and the opportunities available in Punjab. Punjab is Pakistan’s largest province with a population of 110 million and contributes 60% of Pakistan’s national GDP.
There have been three Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Punjab, two of which were operational when we took over the province government was revived to accelerate industrialization. Allama Iqbal Industrial City under CPEC, is also developing rapidly. There are also twenty-four small operational industrial zones across the province.
The government of Punjab has taken several initiatives to build professional skills among young people and enable them to work with big key players / industry. He said Chinese investors can use Pakistan as an advanced manufacturing base for strong international access.
“We look forward to more investment from China, especially in the value-added sector of textiles and clothing manufacturing, agriculture, IT and low-cost housing sector.
“At the same time, we also want to invite investors from all over the world to take advantage of this opportunity created under CPEC and become partners in our growth journey.
“The provincial government is fully committed to providing a competitive environment to attract FDI (foreign direct investment),” he concluded.