Addressing Pak-China Business Investment Forum, Pakistan’s prime minister cites importance of exports to a country’s progress and prosperity
Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday said wealth creation was impossible in any country that did not pursue industrial development, adding that several countries had prospered by focusing on industrialization and exports.
Addressing the launching ceremony of the Pak-China Business Investment Forum, he said that Pakistan had been moving toward industrialization in the 1960s when the process of nationalization of several industries blocked this progress. Stressing that industrial progress and exports were key to a country’s progress and prosperity, he said the incumbent government had introduced incentives for the I.T. sector, resulting in its exports doubling in just two years.
Referring to China and Turkey, Khan said they had prospered by enhancing their industrial and export capabilities. Turkey, he emphasized, had overcome its trade deficit by increasing exports that had also boosted its GDP.
The prime minister said the establishment of the Pak-China Business Investment Forum would enhance ease of doing business between Chinese and Pakistani companies. Describing its formal launch as a “special occasion,” he said it would help the government receive feedback on investment and trade issues so it could properly tackle any bottlenecks through incentives. He vowed to investors that the government and the Board of Investment were working to eliminate all blockages to foreign investment and would further facilitate Chinese investment.
Khan said the government had tried to stabilize Pakistan’s economy, but these efforts had been hampered by the COVID pandemic. He said authorities would now take steps to curb imports to reduce the trade deficit and reiterated his longstanding claims of money-laundering posing a significant threat to Pakistan’s development.
Referring to the second phase of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the prime minister said the government hoped to shit focus toward agriculture productivity. He also said Pakistan had much to learn from China about urban planning. He said rapid urbanization had raised concerns about food security and environmental pollution, and stressed that large cities should focus on vertical development to protect cultivable land.
Addressing the gathering, Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong said that CPEC would prove a game-changer for Pakistan, bringing unprecedented progress and prosperity to the country. He said the second phase of CPEC would focus on industrial and social cooperation, adding that the Investment Forum would enhance bilateral cooperation between the two nations.
He said the Chinese Ministry of Commerce had found that bilateral trade between Pakistan and China had his $24.7 billion in 2021, an increase of 61 percent over the past year. He said imports from Pakistan had increased by 78.2 percent, while direct investment from China to Pakistan had witnessed a surge of 11 times on year-to-year basis.
The Pak-China Business Investment Forum is a joint initiative of the Pakistan Board of Investment and the All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises Association, aimed at promoting investment in Pakistan by Chinese companies, and enhancing business-to-business industrial cooperation.