CPEC will turn Pakistan into a manufacturing hub, says PM’s aide

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KARACHI: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Khalid Mansoor has said the focus of investment under themulti-billion-dollar design is now going to be on terrain-friendly enterprise.

Speaking at the CPEC Industrial Cooperation B2B Investment Conference on Monday, Mr Mansoor said forthcoming systems under CPEC will substantially be in cloth, information technology, husbandry and wisdom and technology sectors.

“ The perception is that CPEC is only for China. It’s not. We’ve investors from the United States, Germany, United Kingdom, Canada and the Netherlands. Near to 18 or 19 (of them) have formerly invested in Allama Iqbal (Industrial City),” he said while pertaining to one of the nine special profitable zones or SEZs that are being developed under CPEC.

Allama Iqbal Industrial City is one of the five CPEC- related SEZs that the government is presently developing at a fast pace. Others include Dhabeji SEZ in Sindh, Rashakai SEZ in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Bostan SEZ in Balochistan. The fifth fast-tracked SEZ is in Gwadar whose area has lately been increased from 60 acres to over acres, Mr Mansoor said.

“ We did that after entering a lot of interest from Chinese investors who are meaning the relocation of their assiduity to Gwadar,” he said.

Mr Mansoor said the successful prosecution of systems under CPEC will affect in import negotiation, import exposure and employment creation in a variety of sectors. “ We ’ll make Pakistan a manufacturing mecca,” he said.

As numerous as 147 Chinese companies are formerly operating in Pakistan, he said, noting that their representatives visited the high minister doubly in recent months to express gratefulness for the resolution of their outstanding problems.

He said the quickest way to come economically successful is to “ do nothing but replicate what China has done”. The SPAM said China set up devoted artificial zones and offered impulses to investors when the assiduity “ progressed” in Europe and North America numerous decades ago. “ Now the cost of force has started adding in China. It’s transitioning into hi-tech. It’s time for us to pursue the Chinese to invest in Pakistan,” he said.

He said the government has set up a state-of-the- art skill development and training institute in Gwadar, which will be functional within three months. “ We do n’t have to resuscitate the wheel. We ’ll replicate that model in other SEZs,” he said.

The SAPM noted power shops of megawatts are formerly in place while systems of MW will come functional soon. “ In the first phase of CPEC, we ’ve formerly realised$ 25 billion investment,” he added.

Speaking on the occasion, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood said trade data for March is going to be “ vital” with exports probably to record a swell this month.

He said the country has rationalised its tariff structure mainly, adding that he ’ll get tariffs further reduced in the budget for 2022-23.

“ We must move down from being a trading frugality to a manufacturing frugality. We must export, import, import.”

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