Ease of doing business: Pak, China premiers discuss Kashmir issue

PMO to directly deal with all major Chinese investments, including CPEC

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BEIJING: Prime Minister Imran Khan, Tuesday,held an important meeting with his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang where both premiers discussed international matters including Kashmir issue and situation in the region. Prime Minister Imran Khan arrived at the Great Hall in Beijing, where he was received by Chinese Prime Minister. PM Imran Khan received the guard of honor by Chinese military while national anthems of both countries were also played. Chinese Premier Li also met with Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa and Pakistani Ministers.

PM Imran Khan apprised Premier Li about the situation in occupied Kashmir and thanked the Chinese leadership for supporting Pakistan at the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The two leaders met at the delegation level after one-on-one meeting in which other projects, including the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), were discussed.

Prime Minister Khan assured Chinese investors of efforts to ease practices of doing business in Pakistan as he wooed businessmen in Beijing and encouraged them to invest in Pakistan as it is “great time of doing business.”

Speaking at the China Council for Promotion of International Trade, the premier said all investments related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will now be dealt from the PM office in order to remove all hurdles faced by investors.

“We have formed the CPEC Authority so that my office can make it easier for people investing in Pakistan,” said the prime minister. “Pakistan has completed phase one of Gwader Free Zone and the country is encouraging businesses to make big profits as the wealth creation will enable us to lift the people out of poverty on the pattern of China,” elaborated the prime minister.

During the event, PM Imran also invited Chinese companies to invest in textile, IT and financial services along with physical and technological logistics, agriculture, oil and gas, tourism and hospitality sectors. Citing reasons to invest in Pakistan, PM Imran said that the formation of special economic zones (SEZs) has come a long way.

“It’s an exciting time in Pakistan as we open up our country for business,” he said. “It is a great opportunity for people to come and invest, and as we change the mindset in Pakistan, we want businesses to come and make money.” Highlighting corruption being one of the biggest hurdles for investors in the country, the premier wished that “he could follow President Xi Jinping’s example and put 500 people in jail.”

However, he said that the process in Pakistan is “very cumbersome.” After the event, the prime minister was received by Premier of the State Council of the Peoples’ Republic of China Li Keqiang at the Great Hall of the People. He was presented a guard of honour by a smartly turned-out contingent of the People’s Liberation Army (PLA).

Prime Minister invited Chinese companies to invest in the diverse sectors of Pakistan at China Council for Promotion of International Trade. He said Pakistan is opening up for businesses and it is great opportunity for Chinese companies to invest in the country, including housing, textile, manufacturing, IT and financial services, physical and technological logistics, agriculture, oil and gas and tourism and hospitality.

Apprising attendees about establishing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) authority, the premier further shared that the port city Gwadar was close to becoming a free zone, and its airport has already been constructed. “Pakistan is encouraging the businesses to make big profits as the wealth creation will enable us to lift the people out of poverty on the pattern of China,” he said.

Khan assured that Prime Minister Office will be dealing with all the major investments, including all the CPEC related investments in order to remove all the hurdles in the way of investors. The premier also informed the participants that Pakistan has set up a special force for the security of Chinese businessmen and citizens.

The high-level Pakistani delegation, under the leadership of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is currently in China on a three-day-long visit. The PM will also meet the Chinese leadership and exchange views on regional developments including the state of peace and security in South Asia arising from the situation in occupied Jammu & Kashmir since 5 August.

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