The Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (RCCI) arranged a session of “All Pakistan Chambers Committee on CPEC” to deliberate on CPEC with special reforms to Economic benefits to Pakistan.
The President welcomed the distinguished guests and highlighted the investment potential and opportunities available under the CPEC umbrella.
Azher Ali Choudhary, Secretary, Board of Investment, while addressing the session stated that Pakistan and China are tied up in strong brotherly relations since the establishment of their diplomatic relations more than half a century ago. The mutual understanding and goodwill has certainly enabled substantial enhancement of bilateral co-operation in all sectors. Our ultimate objective is achieving socioeconomic stability through sound development policies.
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. Industrial Cooperation is that component of CPEC, on which the sustainability of whole CPEC project is dependent. The role of private sector is more crucial and important in this phase of CPEC.
Secretary, BOI apprized the house that to upscale investment and spur industrialization through creating new industry clusters, SEZ law has been made which facilitates creation of industrial clusters with liberal incentives, infrastructure and investor facilitation services to enhance productivity and reduces cost of doing business.
Mr. Choudhary highlighted that Pakistan needs a shift from resource-based and low technology exports to medium- and high-technology productions. While the exporters in china are gauging the prospect of repositioning their labour-intensive industries elsewhere in order to manage the increasingly spiking wages. He invited the business community to capture this opportunity for the socio economic benefits of the country.
Choudhary also stated that in consultation with Provincial Governments has identified 46 sites for establishing SEZs alongside the CPEC route at better and suited areas. Each economic zone will target specific products and services, based on the availability of local raw material, workforce and other such comparative and competitive advantages. Out of these, nine (09) sites have been declared as priority special economic zones in the last meeting of JCC to jumpstart the industrialization process.
Private sector has immense potential to supplement the CPEC projects and stimulate industrialization in the country. Their role will accelerate development to generate employment, scale up practical solutions especially for non-infrastructural development along the CPEC such as healthcare, water and food supplies, education, and housing, and to plug gaps in developmental and financial challenges.
The Secretary, BOI encouraged Private Sector to come forward and have Joint Ventures (JVs) with Chinese and other foreign companies to become part of global value chain. BOI will make arrangements for providing on line and physical platforms for creating JVs through interventions by major Associations/Chambers and Individual B2B meetings.
At the end, Secretary appreciated APCC on CPEC for organizing this event and thanked them for providing him an opportunity to speak on the occasion.