Pakistani minister assures support to Chinese steel firms
by Shafqat Ali
ISLAMABAD, June 23 (Gwadar Pro) - Federal Minister for Science and Technology Senator Shibli Faraz on Tuesday afternoon assured two Chinese steel firms of complete support as they contribute towards Pakistan’s prosperity.
Representatives of the two companies, accompanied by a delegation of the local steel industry, met the Federal Minister and discussed the tax issues. The minister assured them that their issues would be resolved on priority basis.
Chinese firms including Century Steels Pvt. Limited and AL-Haj Asia Star Steel Company Pvt. Ltd have invested in Pakistan as part of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
Prime Minister Imran Khan had inaugurated the first-ever Chinese steel unit of 500,000 Million Ton (MT) annual capacity – Century Steels Pvt. Ltd., in CPEC’s Rashakai Special Economic Zone (SEZ) recently. This was the first investment from a Chinese company in the steel sector. The company is close to starting production.
Al-Haj Asia Star Steel Company Pvt. Ltd. is in a joint venture with a Pakistani company and has installed a plant of 500,000 MT in Pakistan. Al-Haj Asia Star Steel is a joint venture formed in 2017 between Pakistani conglomerate Al-Haj Group and China’s Hebei Xingang Iron and Steel Group.
China is poised to become a leading foreign investor in Pakistan after the Pakistani government decided to grant special incentives to the Chinese investors to expedite industrialization in the country.
“China would be leading in making investment in Pakistan due to special concessions for the Chinese investors. These concessions largely include two-year business visas and priority to the Chinese investment companies through one window operation,” said a government spokesperson.
Last month, Pakistan launched commercialization of Rashakai SEZ project under CPEC where China’s enterprise Century Steel Private Limited is making an investment of $366 million.
Chinese private companies would also be encouraged to make investments in other special economic zones being developed under CPEC across Pakistan.
China Export and Credit Insurance Corp (SINOSURE) would also play a key role in industrialization of Pakistan.
The government aims to encourage joint ventures between the private sectors of the two countries for the transfer of latest technologies to Pakistan.
With the private sector investment, process of industrialization in Pakistan would be bolstered in addition to creation of jobs and boost to Pakistan’s exports.