Chinese firms to invest $15 billion in Pakistan’s petrochemicals

APP News Agency

20th Sep, 2021. 12:49 pm

Overall, the Petroleum Division would spend Rs3.249 billion on 13 ongoing and new projects during the year 2021/22. Photo: File

ISLAMABAD: Chinese companies were ready to invest $15 billion in Pakistan’s petrochemicals sector, an official said.

Under the project, Chinese companies would invest in the petrochemical sector in Gwadar, including the project of energy pipeline from Gwadar to China, Board of Investment (BoI) secretary Fareena Mazhar told APP.

The BoI secretary said bilateral talks were underway for investment in various projects related to Chinese investment in Pakistan.

It was hoped that in the future, Chinese companies would bring investment in Pakistan in the fields of energy, agriculture, tourism and others, she said.

The government wanted to promote Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) culture in the country for bringing foreign investment and to create employment opportunities in the country.

Fareena Mazhar said that the government was introducing a new SME Policy, as well as initiating regulatory reforms for better business regulations in the country.

The “7th Reform Action Plan” was mainly focusing on improvements in firm entry regulations, reliability of electricity, tax regulations, trade regulations, creditors’ rights, better property rights, and court efficiency, etc, and reforms in these areas play a major role in the process of economic development, she said.

The Board of Investment was working hard to attract foreign investment in the country and improve the “Ease of Doing Business” by reducing the cost of doing business in the country, she said.

In this regard, the BoI was working on around 50 reforms to create a conducive environment for business and enhance industrialisation in the country.

The secretary said the Pakistan Regulatory Modernisation Initiatives (PRMI) was a key initiative of the government for the modernisation and regulation of the local businesses and to provide a conducive business environment in the country.

Fareena Mazhar said that the implementation of these reforms was part of the broader strategy of the government aimed at improving productivity and enhancing exports to achieve the objective of sustainable economic growth in the country.

The main objective of PRMI reforms strategy was to improve the entry and operational environment for businesses, focusing on the simplification and automation of the regulatory framework at all three government levels, including federal, provincial and district level, she said, adding that the vital success indicator of the initiative would be increased in the overall private sector and foreign direct investment level without compromising the effectiveness of the various regulatory regimes.

The BoI secretary said enabling a business environment played a pivotal role in attracting domestic and foreign investment, adding that across the world, the emphasis was on improving the business climate.

The World Bank’s coming, Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Report 2021/22 to be issued in December this year, was expected to further improve Pakistan’s ranking below 100.

“Improving Pakistan’s Ease of Doing Business ranking will boost foreign investment in the country,” she said.

The BoI secretary said higher rankings in the World Bank Ease of Doing Business (EODB) Index indicated better regulations for the businesses and stronger protections of their rights.

An environment where new entrants with drive and innovative ideas could get started in business, she said, adding that the areas where productive firms could invest, expand, and create new jobs was the prime focus.

The BoI secretary said EoDB ranking was instrumental to improve the size of the formal sector, to curb corruption through transparency and accountability.

In short, improvements in the EoDB ranking would help reduce time, cost and processes involved in starting and operating a business.

Fareena Mazhar said that it was encouraging to say that during the last two years, Pakistan advanced from 39 places to 108th place on the ease of doing business global ranking.

The company’s registration has shown a 63 per cent growth and 99 per cent of these registrations were done online, while 45 per cent applicants were issued registration certificates on the same day, she added.

For every Doing of Business cycle, an action plan containing more than 50 reforms actions across all 10 indicators was prepared in consultation with all the relevant stakeholders.

In the last two years, “We have improved the World Bank’s EODB ranking by 39 points, which is very beneficial for attracting foreign investment and growth of the local industrial sector,” she said.

The BoI secretary said the board was working hard on business reforms, which would increase industrial competitiveness in the country and improve the climate for foreign investment.

Adsence 300X250