ISLAMABAD: Prime Minter Imran Khan on Saturday directed authorities to facilitate Chinese investors in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan under the multi-billion-dollar China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) and resolve all their issues on an “emergency basis,” Pakistani state-run media reported.
CPEC has seen Beijing pledge over $60 billion for infrastructure projects in Pakistan, central to China’s wider Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) to develop land and sea trade routes in Asia and beyond.
PM Khan on Saturday presided over a meeting on facilitating Chinese investors in SEZs. It was also attended by a delegation of Chinese businessmen, led by Chen Yan from Challenge Fashion (Pvt) Ltd. and China’s Ambassador to Pakistan Nong Rong.
Out of the total 27 SEZs in Pakistan, work on 5 SEZs (Dhabeji in Sindh, Rashakai in KPK, Bostan in Balochistan, Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Punjab, and Gwadar in Balochistan) is in full swing, according to officials.
“The prime minister directed the authorities concerned to facilitate all Chinese investors, who are setting up industries in Pakistan, on emergency basis by resolving their issues related to road connectivity and the provision of utilities,” a statement from the PM’s Office read.
“We will support Chinese businesses in Pakistan on priority basis, and are grateful to them for their keen interest in accelerating their investment in Special Economic Zones (SEZs),” the prime minister was quoted as saying.
The prime minister was earlier informed that Chinese businessmen were ready to start operations in glass, ceramics and information technology (IT) sectors.
It is worth mentioning that OPPO, one of the leading tech manufacturers in the world, is going to establish a local mobile manufacturing unit and a research & development center in Pakistan, according to the statement.
It will not only save Pakistan a lot of foreign exchange reserves on the import of smartphones annually, but also create employment opportunities for Pakistani tech graduates.