7th Pak-China JCC meeting on Nov 21

ISLAMABAD: Planning Minister Ahsan Iqbal on Wednesday urged trade associations to persuade business community to capitalise on opportunities under China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) ahead of seventh joint cooperation committee’s meeting scheduled on November 21.

“Private sector has to play the role as ‘engine of growth in CPEC’ and attract foreign investors from across the globe and seek joint ventures through multiple opportunities unleashed by CPEC,” minister for planning, development and reform and interior told business community at a meeting.

“The task of the government is to develop a policy framework, while the development and investment in special economic zones (SEZs) under CPEC has to be done by private sector and business community,” Iqbal said.

Pakistan and China will hold their seventh joint cooperation committee (JCC) meeting under CPEC on November 21, focused on industrial alliance to develop infrastructure projects. Minister for planning said the private sector could play a lead role in materialisation of this phase of industrial cooperation under the CPEC.

Iqbal said the government is keen to take business community on board in order to incorporate their viewpoint and ensure a broad consensus with respect to development of special economic zones prior to 7th JCC meeting.

He added that President Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Zubair Tufail will especially be invited in the upcoming JCC to represent all chambers and business community.

The minister said infrastructural improvement will encourage Greenfield industrial set-ups, with focus on value additive industries that will provide real platform for competitive trade in global economy.

He appreciated the role of CPEC in the uplift of Pakistani economy and overcoming its critical bottlenecks of energy and transport infrastructure.  The stage is set for Pakistan to enter the phase of industrial cooperation with China being the best example for Pakistan to transform its economy through SEZs.

The planning minister stressed on the business community to improve on the competitiveness and ensure product quality innovation factor in the products and value-addition.

He said business community should work closely with provincial and federal governments and streamline development of economic clusters in order to ensure global competitiveness and link-up with regional supply chains.  He also asked them to focus on research and development activities for enabling business to business linkages and development of high-tech service industry.

Tufail of FPCCI said Chinese companies are keenly interested in exploring business options with Pakistan’s business community and asked the provincial chambers to develop a contact mechanism for materialising linkages with Chinese businesses.

Deputy Project Director CPEC Hassan Daud briefed the participants on ongoing projects under CPEC portfolio, while Director CPEC Board of Investment Abdul Samie gave briefing on incentive package being offered to foreign and local investors for development of industrial parks and SEZs.