Make investment, Zardari urges top Chinese officials
President Asif Ali Zardari on Saturday invited the China Investment Corporation (CIC) to avail enormous opportunities in Pakistan in areas of energy, infrastructure development, mining, communication and agriculture.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2012
Stressing the need for quick implementation of joint projects in various areas, the President said this during two rounds of meetings including one-on-one meeting and Business Round Table with a high-powered delegation of the China Investment Corporation headed by its President Gao Xiqing here on Saturday.
Minister for Water and Power Chaudhry Ahmad Mukhtar, Federal Minister and Chairperson of BISP Farzana Raja, Secretary General to the President Salman Faruqui, Spokesperson to the President Senator Farhatullah Babar, federal secretaries and other officials attended the meeting.
The CIC delegation included Chief Strategy Officer (CSO) Zhou Yuan, President of CIC International (Hong Kong) Fan Kunsheng, Managing Director Cao Yu, Vice-President Lu Jinuo, Managing Director Ms Xu Di, Director Li Xinxin and China''s Ambassador to Pakistan Liu Jian.
Briefing media persons after the meetings, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that President expressed the hope that various presentations given on investment regime and the interaction of the delegation with businessmen during its stay in Pakistan would help promote bilateral investment and trade co-operation between the two countries. He said that various ministries and authorities in past three days gave detailed presentations to the delegation on investment opportunities in energy sector including oil and gas exploration, hydel, solar, coal and wind energy and infrastructure and road and rail projects, Gwadar Port, Zulfikarabad and other projects of mutual interest.
The delegation is visiting Pakistan on the invitation of the President. Appreciating China''s contribution in the infrastructure and industrial development projects, including Karakoram Highway, the President cited the examples of Gwadar Port, Heavy Mechanical Complex and Chashma Nuclear Power Plant, Pak-China Friendship Centre and Sports Complex and said that Pakistan-China ties were now being transformed into a mutually beneficial economic relationship.
Expressing satisfaction over the increased bilateral trade, the President remarked that there was still scope for enhancing the trade volume. During the interaction at the business round table meeting, the President said that the government had introduced various policy measures aimed at providing maximum facilitation to local as well as foreign business communities.
Recounting various incentives being offered to businessmen, he said that promotion of public-private partnership patterns and encouraging joint ventures were important features of the country''s economy. The President said that a vibrant private sector was important for achieving sustainable growth and attracting foreign and domestic investment.
He assured that government would continue to provide conducive economic environment and supporting infrastructure to facilitate private sector and promote public-private partnership. The President invited Chinese investment in Special Economic Zones, which he said, would have basic utilities and infrastructure of international standard, a 10-year exemption on duty and taxes both to zone developers and enterprises.
He expressed the hope that SEZs would lead to reduction in cost of doing business, besides playing a pivotal role in Pakistan''s economic development. He said that under the new Special Economic Zones law all capital goods, machinery and equipment would be given a one-time exemption from customs duties.
Gao Xiqing said that the CIC delegation was impressed by the potential offered by Pakistan to investors. He thanked the people and government of Pakistan, the Private sector and government functionaries for sharing various avenues for investment with them. The Round table meeting was attended, among others, by Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister for Railways Ghulam Ahmed Bilour, Governor Punjab Sardar Latif Khan Khosa, , Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Barrister Masood Kausar, Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Malik Amad Khan, Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Jalil Abbas Jilani, Commerce Ministry''s Secretary Munir Qureshi, Secretary of BoI Sheikh Anjum Bashir and Ambassador-designate to China Masood Khalid. Leading businessmen and CEOs of several domestic companies also attended the meeting. CEOs and Managing directors of various Chinese companies operating in Pakistan were also present. The President later hosted a dinner for the visiting delegation.