Chinese firms to invest $3b in Pakistan

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Would explore possibility of new airline

Sophia Siddiqui/Mian Arshad

Islamabad—A consortium of Chinese Investment Companies in a meeting with Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Friday disclosed to bring $3 billion investment fund for infrastructure development and energy sectors in Pakistan.
Expressing its satisfaction with Pakistan’s progress in infrastructure, energy and development, the Chinese delegation lauded the country’s economic revival and said Pakistan was fully ready as well as capable of absorbing and capitalising Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).
The visiting delegation also voiced its intent to explore the possibility of starting a new airline in Pakistan.
The consortium said it is actively pursuing investments in infrastructure, power, aviation and tourism sectors of Pakistan.
“We fully appreciate the vision of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif which enunciates that economic prosperity is an offshoot of infrastructure connectivity and self-sufficiency in the energy sector,” the delegation stated.
The delegates praised the country’s liberal investment regime, saying that it offers an “ideal and investor-friendly environment.”
Talking to the delegation, the Prime Minister said that there was immense potential for Chinese investment in Pakistan’s infrastructure development, energy and communication sectors.
The Prime Minister appreciated the Chinese delegation’s fruitful interaction with Ministries of Finance, Petroleum and Natural Resources, Secretary Water and Power and Capital Development Authority.
He expressed his gratitude to the leadership and people of China for their all-weather support that is getting stronger with each passing day.
He said CPEC is a game changer that is going to transform the lives of billions of people of the region.
The Prime Minister said that the Economic outlook of Pakistan has altogether changed in the last three years, which is being acknowledged globally. Pakistan is among this year’s global top 10 improvers in Doing Business 2017.
He said Pakistan’s Investment Policy has been designed to provide a comprehensive framework for creating conducive business environment for attracting FDI.
Pakistan’s policy trends have been consistent, with liberalisation, de-regulation, privatisation, and facilitation being its foremost cornerstone. The Law of Special Economic Zones (SEZ) has been made to meet the global challenges of competitiveness to attract Foreign Director Investment (FDI).
Meanwhile, a delegation of Huarong International Holdings Limited and HaoTian Group Holdings Limited held a detailed meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Friday, here and observed that delegation was interested in identifying investment opportunities in Pakistan in the fields of infrastructure, finance, petroleum and retail business.
Vice President China Huarong International Holdings Limited Cheng Yan thanked the Finance Minister for his warm welcome. She greatly appreciated recent economic progress made by Pakistan. She briefed the minister that both the companies had had been preparing draft investment plans keeping in view the investment opportunities offered by Pakistan.
Chairman HaoTian Group Holdings Limited YauWai Ming, said that the delegation comprised large asset managers from China and they were interested in investment in Pakistan due to the macroeconomic stability and investment facilitative regime in Pakistan.
The Dar welcomed the delegation and appreciated the interest of Chinese investors in Pakistan and said that due to the strong economic fundamentals achieved by Pakistan in the last three years, international investors were keenly interested in investment opportunities.
He said that the ongoing projects under China Pakistan Economic Corridor are stimulating further investment in infrastructure development in Pakistan.
The minister emphasized that Pakistan and China have a strong collaboration in developing connectivity in the region.
The Dar briefly discussed with the delegation the financial stability achieved by Pakistan during the last three years and steps taken to enhance ease of doing business.
He especially mentioned the high performance shown by recently established Pakistan Stock Exchange which is attracting international investment interest.
Senator Dar also said that the Pakistan Development Fund Ltd (PDF) will finance commercially viable infrastructure projects in Pakistan and that the government has received interest from IFC of the World Bank, China Development Bank and sovereign investment authorities for equity investment in the PDF.
He also said that the recently upgraded ratings of Pakistan by Standards and Poor’s is an ample proof of the gains Pakistan has been making in the economic field over a short period of time.
The Minister appreciated the interest shown by the delegation in various fields and offered all possible assistance of his team to assist the delegation in identifying best possible opportunities to invest in Pakistan.

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