President Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI), Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan has said that Pakistan and China enjoyed strategic friendship which could be further strengthened by developing strong trade and economic relations between the two countries.
A delegation of ICCI led by its President visited the Embassy of the People's Republic of China in Islamabad and held a meeting with Xie Guoxiang, Minister Counsellor (Economic and Commercial) to discuss possibilities of further improving bilateral trade and investment relations between Pakistan and China. Senior Vice President ICCI Fatma Azim and Vice President Abdul Rehman Khan were in the delegation. Hua Shiang, Gong Dahui and others were also present at the occasion.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that Pakistan was a growing market for business activities and it was the right time for Chinese companies to transfer technology to Pakistan and set up JVs and industrial units in our country. This way, Chinese investors could export their products to many markets of the world including South Asia, Middle East, Europe and Africa.
He said that China was the world second largest economy with annual trade of trillions of dollars, but Pakistan exports to China were around $2 billion. He said that Pakistan exports to China could increase to $23 billion only if China provided one percent share in its supply chain through importing raw materials and intermediate goods from Pakistan.
The ICCI President said that Pakistan automobile, IT & telecom, industry, agriculture and construction sectors possessed tremendous potential for Chinese investors. He said that Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Pakistan offered tax holiday for many years, zero duty on import of machinery and plants and 4-year payment plan to investors, therefore, he stressed that Chinese investors should explore JVs and investment in these SEZs to earn lucrative returns.
He said that China was quite advanced in the agriculture sector and it should help Pakistan in improving its per acre yield by sharing its agro machinery and technology with our country. He said that the Embassy should streamline its visa policy for Pakistani business community so that they could easily visit China to explore business collaborations with Chinese counterparts.
Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan said that ICCI was working with the government for One Window facility for investors and assured that ICCI would fully facilitate Chinese investors in connecting them with right partners in Pakistan. Speaking on the occasion, Xie said that the 2nd phase of CPEC has started cooperation in industrial and agriculture sectors, health and digital technology between China and Pakistan that would boost its economy. He emphasized that Pakistan should focus on improving its infrastructure that would attract more Chinese investors to Pakistani market.
He informed that the Department of Commerce of Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China intended to hold an online conference on January 22 to promote trade cooperation between China and Pakistan that would focus on garment and textile industry, textile machinery & equipment, agricultural products and urged that Pakistani business community should attend it to explore business collaboration with Chinese counterparts.
Both sides also discussed signing of an MoU of cooperation between ICCI and Chinese Capital Chamber of Commerce & Industry to promote business linkages between the two countries.