Islamabad – China is set to become Pakistan’s largest foreign investor after the government recently decided to grant special incentives to Chinese investors to speed up the country’s industrialization.
In-depth talks with industry sources have revealed that China is believed to be the investment leader in Pakistan, which has unveiled special concessions for Chinese investors.
These concessions largely include two-year business visas and the priority given to Chinese investment firms through a one-stop-shop.
Pakistan on Friday launched the commercialization of the “Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ)” project under the CPEC, in which the Chinese company Century Steel Private Limited would make an investment of $ 366 million.
Chinese private companies would also be encouraged to invest in other special economic zones being developed under the CPEC across Pakistan.
Interestingly, the Rashakai Special Economic Zone (RSEZ), due to its strategic location, would eventually link CPEC to Afghanistan. “Negotiations with the Afghan authorities are underway in this regard,” a senior government official told The Nation.
He pointed out that the trade and investment ties between Pakistan and China would usher in a new era of regional development, prosperity and connectivity as the flagship of the Visionary Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) of the President Xi Jinping.
The official added that the China Export and Credit Insurance Corp (SINOSURE) would also play a key role in the industrialization of Pakistan.
Asked how Chinese companies invest, the official said joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries would be encouraged for the transfer of the latest technology to Pakistan.
With private sector investment, Pakistan’s industrialization process would be enhanced in addition to creating jobs and boosting Pakistani exports.
A Chinese company has also unveiled a plan to create a “Pakistani Pakistani industrial park” in Lahore or Karachi, and the project is being planned.
Pakistan has also signed a number of agreements with the Chinese government to benefit from its expertise in agriculture and the number of projects being planned.
Experts estimated that this bilateral cooperation would also give a huge boost to Pakistan’s agricultural sector, which, although in ruins, accounts for 25 percent of the country’s GDP.
Under the flagship China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, China has so far invested $ 13 billion and is expected to invest an additional $ 12 billion over the next few years.
Chinese investments under CPEC have largely gone to energy infrastructure and road connectivity.