ISLAMABAD, Pakistan: Federal Minister for Planning Development and Reform Professor Ahsan Iqbal has said with momentum of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a world of opportunities have opened up, thus setting fundamentals of industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China, fast in place.
Ahsan Iqbal was addressing a seminar on ‘Industrial Parks in Pakistan,’ attended by Chinese enterprises and government functionaries from both sides in Beijing, according to a statement issued here.
The Minister said that CPEC – the flagship project of One Belt One Road (OBOR) – had made tremendous progress during the last two years in completion of infrastructure and energy projects.
He said the time was ripe for businesses from both sides to further develop on the foundations, laid by governments and for business-to-business cooperation for taking the lead.
Chinese investment and technology and Pakistani location and low production cost, combined together, had made a winning combination, he pointed out.
Ahsan Iqbal said that through various energy projects, energy shortage would be overcome which was the first prerequisite of industrial development.
He said the second requirement of industrial development was strong infrastructure and in next two years, Gwadar port would have a further improved infrastructure, through road and modern airport.
As for peace and security, a requirement for industrial investment and development, he said the government had taken solid steps, not only to improve security situation in the country but both countries were working together to improve the security situation in the region.
Describing the opportunities in Pakistan, he said that with a large middle income population, Pakistan was an attractive choice.
The distance from Kashghar to Gwadar port, being 2500 km, was far shorter compared to distance from Shanghai port to Arabian sea which was more than 15000 km.
The land route through Gwadar port could also provide logistics to enterprises particularly in west China through rail and road links, he added.
Discussing the prospects of cooperation in industrial parks in Pakistan, he explained the available opportunities in engineering, automotive industry, information technology, chemicals, construction materials, textiles, agro-based industry, fisheries, marbles, small and medium enterprises particularly cottage industries.
He also highlighted their potential to create employment at the grassroots level.
He advised Chinese businesses to opr for joint ventures to make win-win platforms for both Pakistani and Chinese businessmen so as to develop and maintain goodwill by mutual and partnership based relationship.