Only the toll income the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route will generate– after the completion of the project by 2030, will be thrice the present (US$50 billion) national budget of Pakistan, and the distance between Jaboti deep sea port in Africa to Gwadar port in Balochistan will reduce to only 5 days. “That is the gateway to reach African markets for China that is heavily invested there,” said an official on Wednesday while highlighting a few aspects of the CPEC’s whopping revenue model based on its ge0-economic significance.
Zulfiqar Ali, director Board of Investment (BoI) while briefing the Lahore Economic Journalist Association (LEJA) in Lahore said that the national investment agency is targeting to increase foreign direct investment (FDI) to $250 billion for infrastructure development and other industrial activities by 2025, including joint industrial cooperation between Pakistan and China.
“It is on top of the business, economic, and employment creating activities of special economic zones (SEZs), and other industries.”
According to the official of the agency which runs a one-window operation for facilitating foreign investors seeking to do business in the country, Pakistan had already started development of seven Special Economic Zones (SEZs) with Chinese cooperation out of which three each were being established in Sindh and Punjab, and one in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP).
“Furthermore, nine more Priority SEZs have also ben approved for Rashakai in KP, Dhabeji and Thatta in Sindh, Boston Economic Zones in Balochistan, Allama Iqbal SEZ, Faisalabad, Maqpoondas Northern Areas, Islamabad Capital Territory Model SEZ, Federal Government Industrial Park on Pakistan Steel land at Port Qasim, Mirpur Industrial Zone and Mohmand Marble City, Federally Administered Tribal Areas.”
While commenting that the CPEC is second chance for the industrial and economic development of Pakistan after 1960s industrialization drive, the BoI chief said, “The CPEC is as important for China as it is for Pakistan.”
China seeks to move many of its industries along the CPEC route and in the SEZs, to benefit from cheaper labor and shorter access (less than one-third) to the Middle East, Africa and beyond through Gwadar.
Ali added that through CPEC and Gwadar deep sea port, the distance between the Jaboti deep sea port of Africa will reduce to only 5 days. “That is the gateway to reach African markets for China that is heavily invested there,” he observed.
Moving ahead, he said the government’s recent efforts have resulted in a gradual increase in FDI. “The FDI in FY15 was only U$900 million, which increased to $2.3 billion in FY16 and further rose to $2.4 billion in FY17,” he said.
Replying to a question, the BOI director tried to dispel the general impression that the government was favoring Chinese investors (mostly state-owned companies) by giving them special concessions. “For the BoI and the government of Pakistan, every foreign investor is equal. Besides, same level of returns on investment is available to the local ones,” the BoI chief said to the economic journalists’ gathering.
Pakistan’s GDP is estimated to have grown by 5.28%, which is highest in the last ten years– GDP in absolute terms is now estimated to be higher than US$300 billion, owing mainly to the fast pace of the economic activity, particularly in the backdrop of investments being financed through the CPEC.
Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri
- Pakistan playing frontline role in war against terrorism
- CPEC is a mega project that can benefit all Muslim countries in region
Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Sanaullah Khan Zehri says the enemies of peace would not be let to undermine brotherly relations between Pakistan and Iran.
Talking to Iranian Consul General Mohammad Rafiei in Quetta, he said Pakistan is playing frontline role in the war against terrorism.
The Chief Minister stressed the need to make joint strategy against the menace of terrorism.
He said China-Pakistan Economic Corridor is a mega project that can benefit all Muslim countries in the region.