China-Pakistan Industrial coop under CPEC to take pace: Sec BoI

By Khalid Aziz | Gwadar Pro Sep 30, 2021

ISLAMABAD, Sept. 29 (Gwadar pro)- Fareena Mazhar, head of Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI), on Wednesday expressed the hope that industrial cooperation between China and Pakistan under the CPEC will soon pick up pace following a number of positive developments.

In an exclusive interview with Gwadar pro, the Secretary BoI disclosed that as many as 60 Pakistani and 30 Chinese firms had shown interest in forming joint ventures through the China-Pakistan Business Portal.

The Portal was formed by BoI and China Council for International Investment Promotion (CCIIP) three months ago to facilitate matchmaking between investors from both sides. As prominent Chinese and Pakistani firms have shown up on the portal, the Prime Minister’s Advisor on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood is expected to formally launch the platform in October, Fareena said.

She said that the Portal was a serious effort of both governments for enhanced industrial cooperation. Instead of random matchmaking meetings, this platform is only meant for facilitating large-scale firms from both sides to interact in a meaningful way. It's the first time that the Chinese government has extended such a facility to a country, she said.

She further said that the mentioned firms had also displayed links to the portal on their respective websites. A major JV is near formation, she informed. She said that the portal was a big step forward towards enhanced industrial cooperation between the two Iron Brothers.

Moreover, in the recently-held 10th meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) of CPEC, the Chinese side agreed to sign a framework agreement on industrial cooperation with Pakistan before the coming session of the Joint Working Group (JWG) on the subject, which she said was expected to take place early next year. This agreement will be a milestone event as it will provide a working mechanism of industrial cooperation between the two countries, the Secretary BoI said.

Furthermore, the BoI head revealed that a centralised one-window facility for local and foreign investors will become functional from November 15. At this stage, BoI will arrange all necessary approvals, land as well as utility connections for investors from the relevant departments. By June 2023, the one-window will concentrate the powers presently being exercised separately by the federal, provincial, and local authorities, she said.

She said that the 8 honorary investment counselors appointed by Pakistan's Ministry of Commerce in China have informed that they will soon bring delegations of Chinese investors subject to the COVID-19 situation.

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