CPEC and Industrial Cooperation

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Prime Minister Imran Khan is on his visit to China. Where the Prime Minister is to attend the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics and meet the Chinese leadership. The foremost interest of the Pakistani government is to further strengthen bilateral ties and most importantly, speedy development and collaboration on CPEC. Therefore, on the second day of the Prime minister’s visit, Pakistan and China inked the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The objective of the Framework Agreement on Industrial Cooperation is to attract Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), promote industrialization and development of economic zones, and initiate, plan, execute, and monitor projects, both in the public as well as the private sector. As CPEC entered its second phase which primarily revolves around Special Economic Zones (SEZs) development and industrialization, the need for a comprehensive Framework Agreement became imperative. Pakistan is rigorous in two areas, improving the business environment and security of CPEC. To improve the business environment, the government has already introduced a fast-tracked reform process. We can observe a new potency on the part of the government to inject efficiency in the industrialization process under the Special Economic Zones (SEZs). Board of Investment (BOI), being the secretariat of industrial cooperation, has expedited efforts to devise innovative or efficient systems to facilitate industrialization. However, to make it successful, the government must have to concentrate on real problems the business community is facing. The most important issues are complicated institutional framework, complex and lengthy procedures, corruption, and political games among the parties. Although, the EODB ranking of Pakistan had improved these problems are still haunting the country. Thus, the real task of the government should be to tackle inefficiencies in the system, knock out complications and bring down the number of days for all services. No doubt, the signing of the framework agreement must have significant outcomes and it indicates that it is a top agenda from the Chinese side as a testimony to their interest in CPEC. Therefore, it should be the top priority of the government to overcome the challenges which are negatively impacting CPEC.

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