- BoI moves summary for establishment of 'CPEC Business and Industrial Tower in Islamabad'
ISLAMABAD: The Board of Investment (BoI) has moved a summary to the Cabinet Committee on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CCoCPEC), seeking approval for the establishment of the "CPEC Business and Industrial Tower in Islamabad."
The meeting of the CCoCPEC was scheduled for October 8, 2021 to be chaired by Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives; however, later it was postponed.
The summary, a copy of which is available revealed that the Capital Development Authority (CDA), has already been requested by the BOI for identification of a suitable piece of land in Islamabad on 8th May 2020; however, no suitable land for the project has been identified for the project so far.
Whereas a few of the state-owned Chinese companies have already approached the BOI to explore this project and have expressed their interest to execute it with the BOI in public-private partnership mode.
In the 1st Joint Working Group (JWG) meeting on Industrial Cooperation (IC) under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, held in November 2016, the Pakistani side proposed the construction of eight multi-storied CPEC towers in the ICT, all provincial/regional capitals as well as in Gwadar to provide potential Chinese investors and their Pakistani counterparts with adequate services and space, with a special focus on services sector.
Later, Pakistani side again shared this idea with the Chinese side in the 2nd meeting of the JWG on Industrial Cooperation held in November 2017, that both sides may work on "Iconic Projects" under the Industrial Cooperation; however, no further development could take place in this regard.
The summary noted around the world, establishment of such structures has proven to act as a catalyst to proliferate economic activities in the country.
Financial Centers, Business and Trade Centers, Corporate Towers etc have been established in many countries, e.g. Marina Bay Financial Centre (MBFC) in Singapore, to provide facilitation to the investors and businesses with state-of-the-art working facilities.
Considering its utility and symbolism, the BOI has again shared the proposal to work jointly on the CPEC Business and Industrial Cooperation Tower for inclusion in the list of projects to be made part of the MOU that is to be signed between Pakistan and China during the upcoming visit of the Chinese president.
The same proposal has also been endorsed by the CPEC Authority during a meeting held on 13th April 2020 as well as the Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives.
Modalities to acquire land at a suitable location in Islamabad need to be worked out with the CDA.
The Chinese side's assistance in the project needs to be discussed.
Foregoing in view, it is proposed that the cost of land, to the tune of Rs500 million for this project may be borne by the BOI from its own resources without seeking any additional budget grant, whereas, the cost of construction of the CPEC Business and Industrial Cooperation Tower may be borne by the Chinese counterpart or by a partner selected after international competitive bidding; and the project to be executed in public-private partnership mode.
Proportionate equity against the land may be taken by the BOI in the project, after valuation of the land on market principles, the summary noted.
It is further stated that in the meeting of the CCoCPEC held on 26th January 2021, it was decided that summaries related to pending issues of the CPEC projects will be submitted to the forum for approval in its forthcoming meeting.
It is proposed that the CCoCPEC may approve the proposal for establishment of the CPEC Business and Industrial Tower as per the model proposed in the concept note.
The prime minister, in his capacity as the minister in-charge of the BoI has seen and authorised submission of the summary to the CCoCPEC as required, seeking its approval of the proposal.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021