Chinese investment in Pakistan to expedite once Covid subsides: adviser

Web DeskWeb Editor

08th Jul, 2021. 02:56 pm
Chinese investment in Pakistan to expedite once Covid subsides: adviser

ISLAMABAD: The coronavirus pandemic had restricted the movement of investors, especially from China but it would pick pace once the Covid-19 subsided, a senior government official said.

Addressing a conference, organised by the Pakistan-China Institute, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Razak Dawood said: “More Chinese investors will visit Pakistan to explore the existing opportunities in various sectors of [the] local economy.”

The issuance of work visas had witnessed around 42 per cent increase, he said, adding that more people would come for investment during the days to come, which would further enhance the bilateral trade and investment relations between the two countries.

The Ministry of Commerce has further intensified its efforts and was appointing honorary investment councillors to bring Chinese investment in the country, he said, adding: “We have organised several videoconferences with different Chinese investors and parties in different cities and I am pleased to say that now we have eight honorary investment councillors who know Pakistan well. They (would) help build relationships between people.”

One of these eight councillors informed that he had 20 investors ready to bring investment into Pakistan in several fields, he added.

Dawood said that the number of medium size companies coming in Pakistan had already gained momentum, adding that 40 potential investors have expressed their intentions for investing in the fields of construction, production, manufacturing, chemicals, textiles, and tiles.

“It was just the beginning and we are preparing for the strategic trade policy framework and diversification of local products to enhance exports,” he added.

The Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Pakistan and China, which formally started on January 1, 2020, was also gaining momentum, despite Covid-19 pandemic, the adviser said, adding that trade between the two countries is on the rise and would further increase when the pandemic is over.

Pakistan and China were concentrating on agriculture and industrial cooperation and, in this regard, China was also providing technical assistance in agriculture research and introduced high-yielding rice seed, which helped enhance the per-acre production of non-basmati rice, besides increasing its exports manifold, the adviser said.

Dawood said that Pakistan was also focusing on regional diversification for integrated regional trade by linking Central Asian Republics (CARs) with road links under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) to capitalise investment done in Gwadar and the development of the region.

Besides, the Chinese were invited to make investments and produce imports to substitute for Pakistan, he said, adding that now they are asked to come and invest in manufacturing products for exports.

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