Asad Umar encourages Britain’s investment in CPEC’s economic zones

Asad Umer, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, recently expressed delight over Britain’s interest to promote bilateral trade relations. He briefed the British High commissioner about potential business prospects in the 2nd phase of CPEC and encouraged foreign investors to explore vistas of opportunities under CPEC.

CPEC

Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, Asad Umar appreciated the current level of Britain’s engagements in Pakistan and affirmed the resolve to improve the bilateral business and investment relations to new heights, through CPEC.

According to said a press release issued by Ministry of Planning, Development and Special Initiatives, ‘British High Commissioner Dr Christian Turner called upon the Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar here’. Meanwhile, the KP government has invited all stakeholders to explore and take benefits from CPEC linked opportunities.

The federal minister highlighted potential for British investors in CPEC and newer areas of the Pakistani economy such as telecommunication, information technology, as well as investment in agriculture, health, higher education and skill development. Investing in CPEC directly translates into investing in its special economic zones, like FIEDMC’s state-of-the-art Allama Iqbal City (AIIC).

Both sides confirmed their determination to further expand the areas of cooperation and increase economic, cultural, and educational cooperation. He said that the reform process was bearing fruit, as Pakistan’s economy was taking off and inflation was likely to decrease further.

He also remarked that Pakistan was on the path to sustainable growth and after the successful implementation of the IMF program, the nation would overcome its recurring balance-of-payment problem.

Read more: Opinion: CPEC-II: Going From Meager To Mega Benefits

Asad Umer spoke about how China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) has entered its second phase and its development would be led by the private sector. He asked the High Commissioner to urge the British investors to fully exploit this opportunity as it is on its way to making mega profits. These profits will be borne through servicing investors through the recently built special Economic zones.

British High Commissioner, Dr Christian Turner, said that the UK would explore the potential of investments in such areas as clean energy, combating climate change, health, education and tourism sectors in Pakistan.

To promote bilateral trade and enhance close cooperation by focusing on the investment sector, a delegation of high-level officials from Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) left for Europe, on the 8th of March.

According to Mian Kashif Ashfaq, FIEDMC Chairnman, German and Italian investors and manufacturers have shown keen interest to make big investments in Allama Iqbal Industrial City, a prioritized Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC) under CPEC. Mian Kashif revealed this information on the 12th of February, during FIEDMC’s Europe tour while talking to different delegations of investors from Germany and Italy.

While talking about the tour, Mian Kashif shared,“Pakistan attaches immense importance to its relations with European countries especially with UK, Italy, France, Spain and Germany”, he said. “Pakistani market is mostly unexplored and has huge potential, thus offers lucrative investment opportunities”.

Read more: Second Phase of CPEC: Setting Up Industrial Zones To Bring Economic Prosperity

He went on to discuss that there is a vast scope of enhancing Pak-German bilateral trade relations whereas German investors were also taking keen interest to invest in various sectors in Pakistan especially in FIEDMC.

Pakistan is home to a diverse industrial market and a wide variety of resources and export-oriented companies. This promises foreign companies to prosper with ease, especially, in the comforts of state-of-the-art Special Economic Zones (SEZs). The timely ground-breaking of AIIC, in the first week of January 2020, has seen lots of institutional pedal work.

While highlighting the FIEDMC development projects and potential on a previous occasion, Mian Kashif explained that a sum of Rs. 357 billion (foreign and local investment) is expected to flow into various projects, which indicates that investors already have complete confidence in the present regime.

Read more: European investors express interest in FIEDMC’s SEZ

One should remember that International resources can provide capital to finance local industries and enhance existing industries, boost infrastructure and productivity, open up additional export opportunities and bring new technologies and services to the Pakistani market. Hence, the foreign investment sought by the FIEDMC European tour can turn out to be integral to improve Pakistan’s economy.

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