May 18 , 2017

Pakistan best destination for investment, says Nawaz

Woos HK investors to benefit from rising economy and enjoy first movers’ advantage

HONG KONG: Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said Pakistan was a highly attractive destination for investment that no global player could afford to miss.

He was speaking at 'One Belt One Road Pakistan Investment Forum' here. Nawaz said Pakistan had the sixth largest population in the world, a rising middle class, rich human and natural resources, strategic location and political stability.

He urged prospective investors to benefit from the economic revival of Pakistan and enjoy the first movers advantage (FMA). “Pakistan is ready to do business with the world; it’s the gateway to energy-rich Central Asia, oil rich Gulf and economically-advanced Far East. It stands at the crossroads of an economic revolution, which would produce a win-win outcome for all,” he said.

He said nine Special Economic Zones were being established along the CPEC route where foreign companies could invest in factories, warehouses, logistic centers and much more for consumption in the Pakistani market and export. He said the government had devised a comprehensive plan to create an investment-friendly environment in the country.

“We have liberalised investment policies to welcome Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), offered incentives to attractnew capital inflows including tax exemptions, tariff reductions and investment facilitation services.”

He said Pakistan’s investment policy was focused on reducing the cost of doing business. Earlier, Pakistan and Hong Kong agreed to further promote bilateral economic and trade relations.

The agreement came during a meeting between Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Chief Executive of Hong Kong Leung Chun Ying in Hong Kong. Speaking on the occasion, Nawaz said Pakistan’s liberal trade policy provided immense opportunities to the investors.

He said Pakistan and Hong Kong had strong trade relations that need to be further enhanced. He urged the businessmen of Hong Kong to invest in China Pakistan Economic Corridor.

Nawaz said CPEC was a key regional initiative for connectivity and shared prosperity of nations. He said CPEC was a core component of “One Belt, One Road” initiative of Chinese President Xi Jinping designed for regional integration for peace and development.

He said Pakistan strongly favoured synergizing energies in the region to support this project and advised against indulging in negative publicity for the betterment of the common man.

Nawaz said his vision was to empower people through economic development. He said CPEC had the potential of bringing improvement in the lives of people in addition to its projects related to energy, road and rail infrastructure, industrial parks and economic zones.

Nawaz said when the government took over in 2013, it faced severe challenges including energy shortages, inflationary pressures, exchange rate volatility and a precarious security environment.

However, he said with efficient planning, the government managed to stabilize the economy despite unfavourable global economic conditions. He said the government introduced good governance and financial discipline, entrepreneurship reforms, provided a level-playing field and widened social safety net, which resulted in reinforcement of foreign exchange reserves.

He said the Karachi Stock Exchange index tripled in less than four years and mentioned that international financial institutions (IFIs) were improving the ranking of Pakistan.

Top companies’ heads meet Nawaz: The heads of Hong Kong's top companies called on Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and showed interest in investment in Pakistan.

The prime minister's separate meetings with Chairman ZTE Corporation Yin Yimin, Chairman Shandong High-Speed Group Sun Liang and Chairman Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited Wang Dong focused on developing business linkages in the public-private sector of Pakistan and Hong Kong.

Nawaz apprised the company heads of Pakistan's investment-friendly policies that offered incentives for foreign businessmen.

The corporate heads thanked the prime minister for meeting them and said they would work on exploring the potential of trade and business with Pakistan.

The ZTE Corporation is a leading global provider of telecommunications equipment and network solutions providing services in 140 countries.

The Shandong High-Speed Group is a state-owned comprehensive enterprise group dedicated to 3 development of transport industry.

The Beijing Enterprises Holdings Limited is an integrated public utilities company with core business covering city gas, water treatment and solid waste management.



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