Relocation of Chinese industry in Pakistan to create new jobs: Ahsan

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ISLAMABAD, July 13 (APP): Minister for Planning, Development
and Reforms, Ahsan Iqbal Thursday said the relocation of Chinese
industry in Pakistan would help create a huge number of jobs for
local people.
“After fixing of infrastructure under China Pakistan Economic
Corridor (CPEC), Chinese industrialists plan to take advantage of
low cost labour in Pakistan by relocating their industries in
Special Economic Zones being constructed under CPEC, as they are
unable to compete with Pakistan in terms of labour cost”, Ahsan said
while addressing China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Logistic
International Forum organized by National Logistic Cell (NLC) here.
He said it was impossible for the Chinese industrialists to
bring the labour along with their industries as it would increase
cost of their business.
The minister said nine SEZs would be established in all provinces
under CPEC and the ownership of the SEZs had been given to the
provinces, and all provinces were fully cooperating in efforts to
establish the SEZs.
He said with the establishment of road and railway network in
the country under CPEC, logistic and transport sector would be
promoted.
“Work on Peshawar-Karachi Motorway is in progress on full pace
and hopefully it would be completed by end of next year”, he said
adding after completion of ML-1 railway track from Peshawar to
Karachi, the speed of railways would be increased from 80 to 180 km
per hour.
Ahsan Iqbal said the current government had the honour to
invest heavily in energy sector which would result in addition of
10,000 MW electricity in the national grid by May, 2018.
Additionally, he said the government was also upgrading the
transmission lines in order to carry extra load of electricity from
source to the consumers.
He said under master plan of CPEC, Gwadar city would be
developed as an international port city at par with Singapore and
Hongkong port city within 20 to 30 years.
He said the idea of Gwadar Port city was initiated by the PML-N
government in 1990s while due to political instability, the idea
remained stuck and could not be materialized until 2013, when the
current government handed over the work of port city to China under
CPEC.
Addressing the forum, former finance minister, Dr Salman Shah
proposed to establish an autonomous body “National Integrity
Logistic and Transport Authority” (NILTA) to help promoting the
sector at world class level so that it could face the challenges
emerging from CPEC.
He proposed that special measures should be taken to get real
benefits of CPEC as the mega project had the potential to take the
country’s GDP to over one trillion dollar by 2025.
By that time, he said the country’s economy should also grow
by 8-10 per cent per year while he also urged the government to set
an ambitious target of producing 25 million new jobs in the country
under CPEC in next 10 years.
In his concluding remarks, Director General, NLC, Major
General Mushtaq Ahmed Faisal announced to establish CPEC Logistic
Center to bridge the gap between private sector and the government,
and to provide feedback to the policy makers.