PM launches Pak-China Business Investment Forum
Industrialization, exports imperative for development, prosperity: PM
ISLAMABAD, Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said that industrial progress and exports were keys to a country’s progress and prosperity.
He said that wealth creation of a country was impossible without industrial development while exports increase supplemented such efforts.
The prime minister was addressing a launching ceremony of Pak-China Business Investment Forum as a chief guest.
Pak-China Business Investment Forum is formed in collaboration with Pakistan Board of Investment (BOI) and All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association with the objectives to promote investment by the Chinese companies in Pakistan and enhance business to business industrial cooperation.
The prime minister regretted that during 60s, Pakistan was moving towards industrialization, but a nationalization process choked the progress.
The prime minister said different small countries in the world had increased their exports capacities.
He said the government had provided incentives to the IT sector and within two years, its exports had been doubled.
Referring to China and Turkey, the prime minister observed that they made strides by enhancing their industrial and exports capabilities.
Turkey overcome its had trade deficit with an increase in exports which also raised its GDP, he added.
The prime minister opined that in Pakistan, focus on industrialization had never been made a priority in the past.
The establishment of the Forum would enhance ease of doing business between the Chinese and Pakistani companies, he expressed the confidence.
Terming the launch of forum as a special occasion, he said it would help the government to get feedback over investment and trade issues and overcome the bottlenecks with provision of incentives.
He further observed that the investment process was time consuming whereas time was precious for an investor.
The prime minister assured that the government and BOI were making full efforts to eliminate the blockages in this process and to further facilitate the Chinese investment.
The ceremony was attended by the ministers, advisers, Chinese ambassador, representatives of the Chinese and Pakistani companies, and relevant authorities.
The prime minister said the government took steps to stabilize country’s economy, but unfortunately Covid pandemic hit the globe.
The prime minister also lauded efforts of the National Command and Operation Center (NCOC) for its efforts to contain the coronavirus. “Pakistan coped with the coronavirus, while our neighbouring countries including India and Iran were badly affected with the pandemic. The Economist magazine in its report has ranked Pakistan as the top country that not only saved its people but also its economy from the Covid 19,” he added.
The prime minister said it was another big success of his government for which they deserved all credit.
It was the good governance system which helped to steer Pakistan out of the challenge, he added.
The prime minister said they would have to take steps to control imports. He also viewed the money laundering as another big issue for the developing and the poor countries.
Referring to UN fact finding report, he said about 1,000$ billion had been laundered from the poor countries.
He expressed the confidence that in the second phase of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), they would have to focus on agriculture productivity.
He also stressed that they would have to learn from the Chinese urban planning.
The prime minister said the rapid urbanization brought with it two issues concerning the food security and environmental pollution and cited cities of Islamabad and Lahore where population had surged manifold.
He said they would have to focus on vertical development of the mega cities and learn and seek expertise from China, that had saved its cultivable land with a remarkable urban planning.
The prime minister, on the occasion, formally performed the launch of Forum and witnessed the exchange of documents ceremony between the concerned authorities of the two countries.
Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said that CPEC would be game-changer for Pakistan, bringing unprecedented progress and prosperity to the country.
The second phase of CPEC would focus on industrial and social cooperation. Through this Forum Pakistani and Chinese companies would have enhanced bilateral cooperation and relations.
He said that with the innovative Forum, more business opportunities between the two countries would emerge.
According to statistics details of the ministry of commerce China, he said, the bilateral trade between the two countries was recorded $24.7 billion with increase of 61 per cent on year-to-year basis.
While import from Pakistan increased by 78.2 per cent yearly. In addition to it, the direct investment from China to Pakistan had witnessed a surge of 11 times on year-to-year basis.
He said various development projects under CPEC projects were underway including special economic zones and Gwadar free zone.
The ambassador said the Chinese side was working closely with the Pakistani side to achieve the shared targets aimed at building future cooperation.
Speaking on the occasion, chairman BOI and deputy secretary said that the Forum would go a long way in cementing the joint bilateral industrial ventures and cooperation and would provide a conducive environment for the local and foreign investment.
They said the concerted efforts were ensured by the government to promote these bilateral relations.