Islamabad, October 21, 2023 (PAKONOMY): In a significant development, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) has not only transformed the power landscape in Pakistan but has also laid the foundation for rapid industrialization in the country. This remarkable progress was announced by Pakistan’s Commerce and Industry Minister, Dr. Gohar Ejaz, during a meeting with Chinese Exim Bank President Ren Shengjun in Beijing.
Dr. Ejaz highlighted the successful outcome of the BRI’s initial phase, which has eradicated electricity outages and facilitated surplus electricity generation. This achievement is expected to have far-reaching implications for Pakistan’s economic growth and development.
The Commerce and Industry Minister commended Pakistan’s Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) for its proactive approach in addressing project bottlenecks and expediting critical initiatives. As part of this industrial expansion, Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are poised to be established in major cities, including Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Faisalabad, equipped with the necessary infrastructure to support industrial growth.
To enhance exports resulting from increased industrial activities, Pakistan is actively engaged in negotiations for market access agreements with regional countries. Additionally, the country is exploring transit trade arrangements, particularly along the Karachi route, with the potential for industrial development and official trade in RMB with Russia and other nations.
In a bid to further strengthen economic ties, Dr. Ejaz announced the formation of the Pakistan Corporate Consortium (PCC), a group comprising ten prominent business houses. The PCC aims to partner with potential Chinese investors for joint ventures, and the Minister sought the support of Exim Bank in relocating industries to Pakistan.
Chinese Exim Bank President Ren Shengjun expressed his desire for Pakistan to become a hub for productivity and development. He highlighted the opportune time to seize these prospects and was encouraged by the progress of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), recognizing the positive impact of infrastructure development on connectivity and Pakistan’s foreign trade.
Furthermore, Exim Bank has completed its internal processes for debt restructuring, which will facilitate transactions in RMB and further enhance trade relations. The establishment of the PCC is viewed as a promising mechanism for driving private investment and strengthening economic collaboration between the two nations.
In a recent interactive session held in Beijing, over 200 prominent Chinese and Pakistani business leaders gathered to discuss potential opportunities in the wake of these developments. The meeting, organized by CZK Group, provided a platform for sharing success stories and experiences in conducting business with Chinese counterparts.
Business leaders from both countries expressed a keen interest in capitalizing on the potential of CPEC, with a focus on key sectors such as infrastructure development, energy, trade, and technology. Dr. Ejaz emphasized the historical ties between the two nations and their shared commitment to building a stronger and more prosperous future together.
Ambassador Moinul Haque expressed optimism about enhanced economic collaboration, highlighting the translation of strong political ties into tangible and mutually beneficial outcomes.
This pivotal phase of the BRI, alongside Pakistan’s commitment to industrialization and economic growth, demonstrates the potential for transformative change in the region. The partnership between Pakistan and China continues to evolve and create opportunities that promise a brighter future for both nations.
Stay tuned for more updates on this rapidly evolving story.