Razak woos French investors to benefit from CPEC opportunities

APP02-08 ISLAMABAD: April 08 Β– Adviser to prime minister on commerce, textile and industry, Abdul Razak Dawood and Chairman BOI, Haroon Sharif in a meeting with business delegation headed by Chairman of the France-Pakistan Business Council of MEDEF International at Investment Conference in a local hotel. APP photo by Saeed-ul-Mulk

ISLAMABAD, Apr 08 (APP):Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce and Industry Abdul Razak Dawood on Monday invited the French investors to take benefit from the opportunities offered by the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“The second phase of CPEC in Pakistan offers great opportunities for French investors in IT, engineering services, infrastructure, tourism and agro-processing. Pakistan offers opportunities for cooperation in IT,” he said during a meeting here with an investment delegation of MEDEF, the largest employer federation in France.
The meeting discussed the investment and business climate of Pakistan and opportunities in various sectors of the economy for French businesses.
The visit of the French investors is arranged by the Board of Investment. BoI Chairman Haroon Sharif was also present in the meeting.
Razak Dawood said the people’s prosperity remained the principal priority of the government while a pro-business investment policy was the central plank of its strategy.
The adviser said in its first phase, CPEC had addressed electricity shortage issues, besides establishing land connectivity with China.
Now its second phase was focused on industrial cooperation which was open to all countries, he added.
He said Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates had made investment commitments in oil refineries in Pakistan and they were open to bring in technology and engineering services from all parts of the world on a purely commercial basis.
Pakistan, he said, had set up many world class incubation centers at universities, while an eco-system had been developed to encourage tech start-ups.
The adviser said information technology (IT) exports were a key priority area for the government. An IT specific SEZ (special economic zone) was being developed in Islamabad.
As a result of market access negotiations, he said, Pakistan was fast integrating into regional production networks and larger markets. It was in the process of completing phase two of negotiations with China, which would open the Chinese market to Pakistan at tariff concessions equivalent to ASEAN countries.
Pakistan was also deepening its FTAs (free trade agreements) with Malaysia and Indonesia, which presented opportunities for export of halal products, he added.
Welcoming the delegation, the BoI chairman said the policy of Prime Minister Imran Khan was to open up Pakistan to the rest of the world, and the tourism sector was the main point of that policy.
He said Pakistan was looking for knowledge sharing along with investments and France’s experience in the tourism could be of immense value for it.
Emerging technology, food processing and value-added textiles were other priority sectors for the government and the BoI would extend full facilitation to interested investors from those sectors, he added.
Responding to a question on economic zones, Sharif said the government was working diligently on providing the facilities in the existing SEZs as well as creating new economic zones as well. He also briefed the delegation on some of the incentives provided to industrialists at the SEZs.