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LOW Source:
Pakistan Deaths
Pakistan Cases
0.78% positivity

ISLAMABAD: The Board of Investment (BOI) Secretary, Fareena Mazhar, expressed that, “Considering the unique opportunity for Pakistan to relocate Chinese manufacturing base, BOI has developed a dedicated Pakistan China Business to Business (B2B) Investment Portal in collaboration with the China Council for International Investment Promotion (CCIIP), for both Pakistan and Chinese companies, which will enable matchmaking of prospective businesses from both countries interested in investing in Pakistan to enter into joint ventures.”

She expressed these views, while addressing a consultative webinar on strategy to attract FDI from China, organised by Project Management Unit (PMU), BOI, here at BOI, on Wednesday.

The webinar was attended by Khashihur Rehman, additional secretary BOI, Asim Ayub, project director CPEC Industrial Cooperation of BOI, representatives from the Prime Minister’s Office, Ministry of Planning Development and Special Initiatives, Chinese Embassy in Pakistan, National Development and Reforms Commission (NDRC) China, and members from the Chinese and Pakistani academia including the Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE), China-Pakistan Study Center, Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad, Nankai University, Tianjian, Fudan University, Shanghai, and Peking University, Beijing.

Additional Secretary BOI Khashihur Rehman welcomed the participants and distinguished members of academia of China.

He cherished the active participation of the NDRC’s to facilitate joint industrial cooperation initiatives, and the valuable cooperation of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan.

He stressed that unlike the first phase of the CPEC based on a Government to Government (G2G) Framework, the second phase now pertains to business to business (B2B) and people to people (P2P) ties.

Therefore, it is imperative that key players from both sides be taken on board to jointly initiate meaningful steps to attract Chinese sunset industries to Pakistan.

The BOI Secretary, FareenaMazhar, appreciated the role of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and stated that with the 70 years of China-Pakistan diplomatic relations, the early harvest projects under the CPEC pertaining to energy and infrastructure have attracted many sizable G2B investments projects.

However, now is the need for both countries to strengthen bilateral cooperation through increased involvement of the private sector under the B2B arrangements under the ambit of the CPEC Industrial Cooperation.

While elaborating on the role played by the BOI to facilitate investment in the country, she informed the audience that the BOI, as the apex Investment Promotion Agency of Pakistan, has been on the forefront of effective policy making and reform initiatives to create a business-friendly environment in the country.

In this regard, for effective matchmaking of Pakistani and Chinese enterprises, a Pakistan-China Business to Business (B2B) Investment Portal has been developed in collaboration with the CCIIP.

The BOI is also formulating a comprehensive and actionable strategy to attract FDI from China.

A series of consultative sessions have already been held with the relevantstakeholders from both sides, including potential and existing Chinese companies in Pakistan to seek input.

Project Director, CPEC Industrial Cooperation in BOI, AsimAyub briefed the participants regarding the BOI’s efforts to facilitate Chinese investors and encouraged the members of academia from both countries to apprise of their valuable suggestions to attract meaningful FDI from China.

He emphasized that further joint initiatives need to be undertaken in form of tools such as cultural exchange programmes to fill in the noticeable cultural and ideological divide and promote cultural diffusion and societal integration.

He stated that Pakistan has to learn from China’s miraculous industrial development trajectory, which is a unique and unprecedented case in history.

Ayub stressed the need for close coordination between the BOI and the NDRC to effectively stress bilateral industrial cooperation initiatives under the auspices of Joint Working Group (JWG) of Industrial Cooperation.

Dr Iftikhar Ahmed, assistant professor, delivered a detailed presentation pertaining to providing long-term and short-term solutions to attract FDI from China including improvement in global competitiveness of Pakistan.

Dr TalatShabbir, director China-Pakistan Study Center, Institute of Strategy Studies, Islamabad, emphasised on the need for speedy population of SEZs, and formulation of comprehensive and overarching industry, regulatory, and SEZs frameworks for rapid industrialisation of Pakistan.

Dr Chen Zong Shen, Head of China Institute of Wealth and Economics, appreciated the efforts of the BOI to organise the webinar.

He stressed on language issues that come in the way of establishing people to people linkages, and recommended the use of Chinese languages in facilitating the negotiation processes between both the countries.

He also suggested the need for informing the Pakistan people regarding the Chinese culture and way of living to strengthen socio-cultural linkages.

The need for upgrading Pakistan’s value chain was also underscored.

Dr Du Youkang, Head of Pakistan Study Center, stated that exchange of diplomatic delegations could be a long-term measure to attract FDI; however, for the short-term, there is a dire need to develop close cooperation in all sectors of the economy including social, technological, economic, and cultural aspects besides strengthening of traditional political relations.

Dr Lin Min Wang, deputy head, South Asian Research Institute, suggested that Pakistan should take active measures to curb the negative impression pertaining to the CPEC projects, which in turn has an adverse influence on Chinese investing in Pakistan.

Beside the development of a constructive narrative of the CPEC, he recommended; alignment of all political parties of Pakistan regarding their stance on CPEC; soft and hard industrial infrastructural development; improvement in taxation system, and development of local government mechanisms to facilitate investment.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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