President Mamnoon Hussain has said that relationship between Pakistan and China has assumed a whole new dimension of strong economic underpinnings after the signing of MoU on China-Pak Economic Corridor (CPEC) in July 2013. The President noted that the prospective trade and investment opportunities arising from the game changing project CPEC have evoked a lot of interest among the business communities of China and Pakistan which would open new avenues of trade and investment cooperation between the two countries.
The President was addressing on the occasion of a dinner hosted in honour of business delegation of China-Pakistan Friendship Association (CPFA) at the Aiwan-e-SAdr, Islamabad on Monday. The business delegation of CPFA was headed by Ambassador ® Sha Zukang. Federal Minister for Planning, Development & Reforms Ahsan Iqbal, Federal Minister for Commerce Engr. Khurram Dastgir Khan, Minister of State/Chairman Privatization Commission Muhammad Zubair and Ambassador of China to Pakistan, Mr. Sun Weidong were also present on the occasion.
The President said that the Economic Corridor would connect the nodes of growth centers along the way and facilitate expansion of trade and investment through a network of roads, rail, fiber optic cables, and energy pipelines besides providing for the creation of special economic zones, industrial parks and trade centers. The President stated that China is Pakistan’s major trading partner and with the signing of China-Pakistan Free Trade Agreement (CPFTA) the volume of trade between the two countries has leapfrogged to US$ 12.3 billion and emphasized that both countries should continue efforts to achieve further increase.
The President said that revival of national economy has been an important pillar of government’s strategy adding that over the past more than two and half years, Pakistan’s economy has come out of the doldrums and made significant progress. “Positive macroeconomic performance has resulted in a soaring stock market and increased investment. The establishment of Pakistan Stock Exchange is an important step and it will have a very positive impact on our economy”, remarked the President.
President Mamnoon Hussain said that Pakistan is an emerging market which has one of the most liberal foreign investment regimes in South Asia and government is focused on improving investment climate in the country through implementation of Investment Strategy 2013-17 that hinges upon Public-Private Sector Dialogue (PPD) for policy formulation, FDI Generation and Promotion Campaign, Investment Facilitation (one window operation), Development of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and Coordination networks with stakeholders.
The President complimented the Ministry of Commerce and the China Pakistan Friendship Association for organizing this important visit and hoped that private sector and participants from both countries would avail this opportunity towards creating important business linkages and working towards mutual goal of enhanced trade and investment partnership.