CPEC to turn Pakistan into a great investment destination: LCCI

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LAHORE, Aug 12 (APP):China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project is bound to turn Pakistan into a great investment destination and it would start a new era of progress and prosperity in the country; therefore, it should be handled with extra care.
Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) President Malik Tahir Javaid said this while talking to APP here on Sunday.
He said that the multi-purpose project must be completed at all costs within the given timeframe.
To a question, he said, “It will not be wrong to say that the economic benefits of this project are hard to estimate. China has already promised to invest more than $46 billion in this connection. This project has the potential to work as a game-changer.”
Although both governments are closely collaborating in this project, the private sectors of Pakistan and China would have a bigger role to play in this mega venture, he added.
Malik said that CPEC was an overall cooperation platform with a focus on long-term development of bilateral cooperation in various fields.
“Pakistan is bound to become economically strong and independent with never ending chain of investments from China. It will only be possible if the respective private sectors’ representatives play their due role proactively,” he added.
He, however, called upon the government to put in place effective measures so that a level playing field could be provided to the local industry and in this connection, the local industrialist must be facilitated and enabled to upgrade their industrial units on a par with developed world’s industry. With the initiation of hundreds of projects and installation of industrial units under CPEC, he feared, Pakistan’s industry would be rendered uncompetitive and ultimately would face closure; therefore, transforming the local industry into modern and technologically advanced one was direly needed.
Malik Tahir Javaid also underscored that China, while expanding the CPEC projects, should also speed up the technology transfer into Pakistan, citing that Pakistan was basically an agricultural country bestowed with variety of seasons and agro-based products, but due to lack of post-harvest technologies a lot of agriculture produce goes waste.
Malik Tahir Javaid said that China and Pakistan need to maximise efforts to strengthen their relations in all fields and both the sides need to conduct market research to further strengthen bilateral trade relations. Priority should be given to each other for import of goods rather than buying from distant countries, he added.
Collaboration was need of the hour in SMEs (Small and Medium Enterprises) and mega projects like oil & gas exploration activities, hydel and coal based energy projects, paper & board, sugar, cement, chemicals, transport & communication, construction of roads in Pakistan, scientific & educational cooperation and a number of other sectors of trade and economy.
Lahore Chamber’s President called for completing this mega project and the government should not bow to any pressure on China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, citing that anti-CPEC elements were those who made Kalabagh Dam controversial and did not want to see Pakistan economically stable.
To a question, he said that many projects under CPEC were under way
and there were many to emerge with the passage of time. If Iran instantly collaborates with Pakistan, then there were greater chances that they
would obtain reasonable share, he added.