PM Khan tells China why the time is right to invest in Pakistan

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Chen Siqing, Chairman of Bank of China Group (BOCG) in a meeting with PM Khan, where he highlighted Pakistan’s immense market potential and the geo-strategic advantage of doing business in the country. (Photo by PM Office)
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Chen Fenjian, Chairman of China Railways Construction Corporation meets with Prime Minister Imran Khan in Beijing on Saturday. PM Khan is on a five-day official visit to the country, his first after assuming office in August. (Photo by PM Office)
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Yan Zhiyong, Chairman of Power China listens on as PM Khan appreciates Beijing’s business ventures in Pakistan, particularly under the flagship of the CPEC project. (Photo by PM Office)
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Yan Zhiyong, Chairman of Power China listens on as PM Khan appreciates Beijing’s business ventures in Pakistan, particularly under the flagship of the CPEC project. (Photo by PM Office)
Updated 04 November 2018

PM Khan tells China why the time is right to invest in Pakistan

  • Encourages business leaders to explore opportunities in diverse socio-economic sectors
  • Beijing says more talks needed before committing to bailout package

ISLAMABAD: As part of his ongoing visit to China, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan met with the heads of major business groups in Beijing and discussed ways to usher in more investments for the country, officials said on Saturday.
This is Khan’s first official visit to China since assuming office in August this year.
Pakistan is looking to negotiate details for a bailout package with China to tackle its economic problems.China, however, believes that more talks would be needed to finalize any such agreement, Chinese media reported on Saturday.
Following a meeting with the Chinese leadership, Khan met with several senior executives, including Chen Fenjian, Chairman of China Railways Construction Corporation (CRCC), Chen Siqing, Chairman of Bank of China Group (BOCG), Yan Zhiyong, Chairman of Power China, Charles Yang, President of Huawei’s Middle East region and a coterie of other officials.  
Highlighting Pakistan’s immense market potential and the geo-strategic advantage of doing business in the country, Khan encouraged business leaders to explore investment opportunities in its diverse socio-economic sectors.
“The prime minister assured maximum facilitation to the Chinese business companies for doing business in Pakistan,” a statement released by Khan’s office read on Saturday.
Additionally, Khan appreciated the business ventures of the Chinese companies in Pakistan particularly the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects.
“He shared his socio-economic reform agenda with the Chinese business leaders and expressed satisfaction over the progress on projects under the CPEC,” the statement added.
The Chinese business leaders, on their part, expressed gratitude for the support extended by Pakistan to companies in the hydropower, renewable energy, construction and infrastructure development sectors.
“The executives expressed their desire to further invest in Pakistan’s socio-economic sectors,” the statement added.
Earlier on Saturday, Khan and his Chinese counterpart Li Keqiang signed 15 agreements and memorandums of understanding in Beijing, pledging stronger cooperation in fields such as poverty alleviation, agriculture, industry and science.


India delays signing Kartarpur corridor deal with Pakistan

Updated 22 October 2019

India delays signing Kartarpur corridor deal with Pakistan

  • Border crossing will give pilgrims visa-free access to holy Sikh shrine
  • Former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh expected to attend the inaugural ceremony

NEW DELHI, LAHORE: India has postponed signing a deal that will allow Sikhs to visit a holy shrine in neighboring Pakistan without a visa, a Foreign Ministry official in New Delhi was reported as saying.
The Kartarpur Corridor connects the Sikh shrines of Dera Baba Nanak Sahib, in India’s Punjab region, to the Gurdwara Darbar Sahib in Kartarpur, Pakistan.
The visa-free border crossing will be inaugurated next month, days ahead of one of Sikhism’s most sacred festivals and the 550th birthday of the religion’s founder.
Media reports said that the signing of the deal had been pushed back by a day to Oct. 24 and that C L Das, an official handling internal security at India’s Ministry of Home Affairs, would meet Pakistan officials along the border to sign the agreement.
The corridor is a rare example of cooperation and diplomacy between the two South Asian rivals, who came to the brink of war in February following a suicide attack in Indian-administered Kashmir.
Ties nose-dived further in August when India flooded its portion of the disputed valley with troops, imposed a communications lockdown and revoked the special legal status of the territory.
But finalizing the corridor project has proved tricky.
Earlier this week, India’s External Affairs Ministry said it was disappointed by Pakistan’s decision to levy a $20 service fee per pilgrim.
“It is a matter of disappointment that while understanding has been reached on most of the elements for facilitating the visit of pilgrims from India, Pakistan continue to insist on levying a service fee," said the ministry. "Government has consistently urged Pakistan that in deference to the wishes of the pilgrims, it should not levy such a fee. While agreeing to sign the agreement, the government of Pakistan has been once again urged to reconsider its insistence to levy service fee on pilgrims. India would be ready to amend the agreement accordingly at any time.”
The connecting bridge at the border was also a significant issue. India favored an elevated bridge but Pakistan was only willing to build an embankment, fearing a possible breach in security.
New Delhi said all the infrastructure was in place in time for the project’s inauguration, which is expected to be attended by former Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh.
Islamabad has also invited Singh to be part of the inaugural ceremony but he has yet to accept. Despite the bumps in the road Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan was upbeat about the unveiling.
“Pakistan is all set to open its doors for Sikhs from all across the globe, as the construction work on the Kartarpur project enters final stages and will be open to the public on 9th November 2019,” he posted on Facebook. “World’s largest gurdwara will be visited by Sikhs from across India and other parts of the world.”
Although the opening of the corridor is unlikely to lead to any kind of bilateral engagement or rapprochement between the two nations, Sikhs will be relieved that it is easier to access the shrine in Kartarpur.
The community has long sought easier access to Kartarpur, a village just four kilometers over the border in Pakistan, as it used to demand a lengthy visa and travel process.
Pilgrims will get special permits to access the shrine. Up to 5,000 pilgrims will be allowed to access the corridor daily.
Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate the Indian side of the corridor, but it is unclear if he will cross into Pakistan afterwards.