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High level NDRC Chinese delegation visit to Pakistan



Prime Minister’s Office
Board of Investment
(Media Section)
Press Release of BOI

Islamabad, 11th July,2017   A high level Chinese delegation is on official visit to Pakistan from 10th to 14th July,2017 to discuss industrial cooperation, implementation of Gwadar projects and Pakistan Railway's up-gradation of Main Line-1 under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The delegation had meetings with Pakistan's officials and experts from different fields and discussed progress on CPEC projects and other matters of mutual interest on their first day of the visit.

Board of investment was entrusted to organize meetings with Chinese experts on industrial cooperation. As per programme devised by BOI in consultation with Chinese side, the focus of industrial cooperation group is on the nine prioritized special economic zones agreed upon in the last JCC held in Beijing in December last year. In this context, two sessions were held today at Serena Hotel, Islamabad. The meeting was attended by acting Chinese Ambassador, Pakistan Special envoy on CPEC, DDG, NDRC and representatives of CIECC, Tianjin, DRCI, CDB, CADZ, CCCC and power china. From Pakistani side the meeting was attended by Senior Officials from BOI, Planning, M/o Industries, Government of Balochistan, Sindh, Punjab, KP, FATA and Gilgit Baltistan.

In his opening remarks, Mr. Azher Ali Choudhry, Secretary, BOI welcomed the Chinese delegation and stated that relations between Pakistan and China are deep rooted and time tested. Over the last two decades, the two countries have made a strategic shift by moving in the direction of investment, and economic cooperation.

He highlighted that for Pakistan, the development in Trade and Industry is the main gain from CPEC as a driving force for economic growth and taking the fruits of CPEC to the lesser developed regions of Pakistan.  Mr. Choudhry also added that Chinese SMEs and Start-ups are capable and keen to come in Pakistan. The scope is available for cooperation in the fields of engineering, automotive industry, information technology, chemicals, construction materials, textiles, agro-based industry, fisheries, marble, small and medium enterprises particularly cottage industries. The government of Pakistan is committed to facilitate Chinese investors in their endeavors and purpose of SEZ initiative is to promote industrial clusters in the country. The priority SEZs can be used as a tool to spur rapid industrialization in the country and to promote Pakistan’s export through value addition. 

The Chinese head of delegation Mr. Du Zhenli, Director General, Department of Global Cooperation, China International Engineering Consulting Corporation thanked Pakistan for hosting their visit and meetings with the concerned stakeholders and emphasized that industrial cooperation is the heart and soul of the whole CPEC project. We need to do the work step by step. Chinese companies are willing to develop SEZs in Pakistan. For that purpose we must have a long term cooperation mechanism for industrial cooperation.

The inclusion of relevant experts from each side in the joint working group is mandatory for policy, planning and devising a road map for industrial cooperation. China has already developed 77 industrial parks in 36 countries so Chinese development model and other best practices of the world can help Pakistan to develop special economic zones. The government of china always focuses on industrial development having win win situation for each and every stakeholder. The special economic zones being developed by Pakistan can attract high tech industry, manufacturing and processing industry based on local and regional comparative advantages/ natural endowment. Pakistan side should align their industrial framework with their medium and long term development plans. The Chinese side reiterated their commitment to invest in Pakistan and to cooperate with the government of Pakistan to take forward this initiative.

In today’s proceedings, five presentations were made which includes presentation from Federal BOI, Government of Sindh, Government of Balochistan, National Industrial Park and FATA development authority.
BOI presented brief snapshots of actions taken by Federal & Provincial Governments to move forward the agenda of developing priority SEZs. It was highlighted that the government of Pakistan has recently devised an incentive package for these priority special economic zones to attract relocations from abroad particularly from China.

Ms. Naheed Memon, Chairperson, Sindh Board of Investment gave a detailed presentation and stated that Sindh province is pioneer in establishing SEZs in the country. Pakistan’s first three SEZs are located in Sindh having more than 25 enterprises. With regard to proposed DHABAJI SEZ she informed that the land has already been allocated and feasibility is being carried out by a consortium of international reputed firms. Chinese private sector and state enterprises can get maximum benefit of this opportunity.
Chief Executive officers of National Industrial Park highlighted the steps taken to develop special economic zones by the federal government at Karachi and Islamabad. While stressing strategic and economic advantages of both the Cities, he highlighted that Karachi is situated on the Arabian sea and is a home of two largest sea ports and 90% of Multinationals operating in Pakistan are having their head quarter in Karachi. Similarly Islamabad being existing capital city of Pakistan is having potential of high tech and manufacturing industry.

While presenting their cases to the Chinese side the representatives of government of Balochistan and FATA also spoke about the natural endowment of their regions. Representatives of Government of Balochistan stated that Balochistan is rich in exhaustible and renewable resources in minerals while representative of FATA highlighted the scope of marble and minerals based industry in the proposed MOHMAND marble city. 

While speaking on the occasion Deputy Director General NDRC Mr. Li Xuedong has stated that industrial cooperation has entered into a very critical stage and it is on the top of CPEC project. The establishment of energy plants and development of infrastructure were the pre-requisite for industrial parks. He pointed out that industrial parks play very important role in the sustainable development of any country. Now there is a time to translate the words into actions. We need to have expert group to initiate planning of the parks keeping in view comparative advantages and other allied attractions for investors. China has huge experience in developing such parks and chinese companies are ready to share their technologies as well as productive capabilities with Pakistan.    

The Chinese delegates will visit sites of the Rashaki SEZ as well as industrial park in Lahore / Faisalabad tomorrow. The day after tomorrow representatives of AJK and Gilgit Baltistan will give their presentations highlighting the potential of their proposed zones.

(Shah Jahan Shah)
Additional Secretary/Spokesmen

Source:  BOI's Official Press Release