Industralization under CPEC not at expense of local industry: Ahsan Iqbal

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ISLAMABAD, July 4 (APP): Minister for Planning, Developing & Reform,
Ahsan Iqbal Tuesday said industrial development under CPEC would not harm local industries and interests of local business community would be safeguarded.
He was chairing a meeting alongside Chairman Board of Investment, Dr
Miftah Ismail to review the development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) under CPEC.
The meeting was attended by senior officials from Board of Investment,
and provincial governments.
He instructed authorities that local business community should be
engaged in consultative process and every care must be taken to protect local businesses and indigenous industries.
“Chinese investment will augment our industrial capacity through
state-of-the-art technology and expertise, enabling our productivity” he remarked adding that local businessmen should engage Chinese business community and develop joint ventures through extensive business to business collaboration.
These joint ventures would provide opportunity of transfer of knowledge
and experiences, he added.
Prof Ahsan Iqbal said energy and infrastructure projects were
nearing completion which had open a new era of trade and industrialization in Pakistan.
He further said CPEC had now entered a critical stage wherein
industrial development would take place through development of SEZs.
“Development of SEZs will play an important role in the future
development of CPEC that would project Pakistan as an engine of growth” he highlighted.
He stressed that Chinese investment had created a window of opportunity
in Pakistan and instructed the officials to prepare a comprehensive and professional work plan to attract Chinese investors in the SEZs.
He said paradigm shift was taking place as the world was passing
through 4th Industrial Revolution and automation and robotics would replace manpower.
“At the moment, Pakistan has to take advantage from cheap labor and
resources” he added.
He instructed the provinces and regions to market their respective SEZs
and offer an attractive value proposition to the investors so that maximum share could be obtained from the relocation of Chinese industries.
“Provinces and regions to take concrete steps in order to make the SEZs
a success” he said.
He said Pakistan requires a robust industrial base so as to ensure
sustainable economic development and creation of employment opportunities since two million jobs are required annually.
Representatives from provincial governments, FATA, and Gilgit Baltistan
gave detailed briefing on their respective SEZs during the meeting.