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ISLAMABAD, Dec 24 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister for Commerce and Investment, Abdul Razak Dawood on Thursday said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is moving towards a new direction of industrial and agriculture development which needs a bigger role of the private sector technology companies.

The government would facilitate at the maximum level to ensure establishment of large-scale manufacturing units and information technology zones under CPEC, he said.
He expressed these views while addressing the the first meeting of the recently re-constituted China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Business Council was held under the chairmanship of Abdul Razak Dawood here at Board of Investment.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State/Chairman, Board of Investment Atif R. Bokhari, Chairman CPEC Authority Asim Saleem Bajwa, Secretary BOI Fareena Mazhar, members of the council and BOI’s officials.

The adviser said that China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Business Council aimed to create an interface between the government and business community and to further the industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China to a new height for mutual benefit.

He further highlighted Pakistan’s potential in petrochemical, steel manufacturing and IT sectors and appreciated the recommendations provided by the members for development of projects in these sectors with the help of Chinese and other potential investors. The BOI Chairman, Aatif R. Bokhari said that the government is fully committed to ensure a business-friendly environment by providing competitive incentives to the industry.

He informed that efforts are being made to achieve the efficiency in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) by placing one window operation matching with the global practices.
“Rashakai would be a model zone to be established, followed by Dhabeji which is uniquely placed and open for local and foreign investors equally” he added.

He further informed that efforts were made to develop SEZs in service sectors and approval was accorded to IT Zones to facilitate information technology and software development. Electronic vehicle and mobile phones manufacturing policies have been introduced and the same could be adopted for hardware manufacturing with support of the private sector, he stated.

The Federal Secretary BOI, Fareena Mazhar briefed the participants on the role of CPEC Business Council, progress on Industrial Cooperation and proposed initiatives for enhancing B2B collaboration under CPEC.

Earlier, in a meeting, the members proposed inclusion of new sectors and projects in CPEC.
It was also proposed that petrochemical and its domestic production at competitive prices require establishment of a petrochemical cracker and it is a best possible option to include this project into CPEC.

In the meeting, it was highlighted that the tourism sector could be promoted by offering incentives and financial support.

It was further suggested that one window facilitation for economic zones be made in place under one authority represented by all the concerned ministries to make the country as an investment friendly destination.

Private sector representatives further recommended that RMB transactions should be facilitated for bilateral trade and investment with China.

It was proposed that in addition to business visas, facilitation in getting work visas for foreign experts should be enhanced.

It was recommended that infrastructure development such as manufacturing of hardware in the IT sector would help to grow, expand, and boost the economy.