Pakistan, China launch PCBIF to enhance information exchange, promote business communication
ISLAMABAD, Jan 3 (Gwadar Pro) - Pakistan and China on Monday launched the Pakistan-China Business Investment Forum (PCBIF) aimed at enhancing information exchange and promoting communication between businesses of the two countries, thereby opening up new avenues of cooperation.
Prime Minister Imran Khan launched PCBIF which consists of 18 Chinese and 19 Pakistani companies to promote sustainable investment, export industry and development of modern technology in Pakistan.
The forum has been formed with the collaboration of the Board of Investment Pakistan (BOI) and the All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises (APCE).
Following the participation of over 70 companies in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Conference held in March last year, it was agreed to establish a business forum with the cooperation of the Chinese Embassy in Pakistan and BOI to enhance business to business cooperation.
Addressing the launching ceremony in Islamabad, Prime Minister Imran Khan observed that many smaller countries were faring much better than Pakistan in exports. “It is very painful for us. How can a country progress when it was not into exports,” he added.
PM Khan stressed that a country cannot progress until it sells goods to the world. Referring to the feedback from foreign investors about the cumbersome process of investment materialisation in Pakistan, the PM remarked: “It takes a lot of time from an agreement to its implementation here, and time is money for investors. He will turn away if no measures are taken for his facilitation.”
PM Khan said that planning was afoot with BOI to address the problem. He informed that the government was now focused to undertake industrialisation and increase its exports. “Pakistan must learn urban planning from China. This is the key to tackling disparity in resource management arising out of rapid population growth,” he emphasised.
Pakistani cities, he maintained, were expanding so rapidly, which will eventually lead to food crisis and a gradual decrease in green areas. “China switched to vertical development and saved their land for food development,” he pointed out.
He mentioned that Pakistan was giving incentives to Chinese industries and companies to relocate to Pakistan “but the problem is that the time taken from an agreement to its implementation is a lot.” He added: “The delay disincentivises investors for whom time is very important.”
Referring to China and Turkey, the Prime Minister appreciated that they made strides by enhancing their industrial and exports capabilities.
He expressed the confidence that the establishment of the Forum would enhance the ease of doing business between the Chinese and Pakistani companies.
Terming the launch of the forum as a special occasion, he said it would help the government get feedback over investment and trade issues and overcome the bottlenecks with the provision of incentives.
The prime minister assured that the government and BOI were making full efforts to eliminate the blockages in this process and to further facilitate the Chinese investment.
Speaking on the occasion, Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong said that CPEC would be a game-changer for Pakistan, bringing unprecedented progress and prosperity to the country.
“The second phase of CPEC would focus on industrial and social cooperation. Through this Forum Pakistani and Chinese companies would have enhanced bilateral cooperation and relations,” he underscored.
The ambassador said the bilateral economic trade between the two countries had witnessed an increase of 61 per cent during last year while direct investment from China to Pakistan had also increased on yearly basis.
The envoy underlined that various development projects under CPEC projects were underway including special economic zones and Gwadar free zone.
The ambassador said the Chinese side was working closely with the Pakistani side to achieve the shared targets aimed at building future cooperation.
Speaking on the occasion, chairman BOI Muhammad Azfar Ahsan and BOI secretary Fareena Mazhar said that the Forum would go a long way in cementing the joint bilateral industrial ventures and cooperation and would provide a conducive environment for the local and foreign investment. They said the concerted efforts were ensured by the government to promote these bilateral relations.
The ceremony was attended by the ministers, advisers, Chinese ambassador, representatives of the Chinese and Pakistani companies, and relevant authorities.