By Shahram Haq
LAHORE: Pak China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry’s (PCJCCI) newly-elected president Wang Zihai said that China’s textile millers in the Shandong province are in talks with their Pakistani counterparts for a possible repositioning in Pakistan.
Wang said that Chinese millers prefer Pakistan over Bangladesh or Vietnam when it comes to investing in the region.
“Pakistan has some advantages, especially for textiles, chemicals and shoe manufacturing sectors,” Wang told a group of journalists Tuesday. “We have contacted Pakistan’s top textile lobbies- All Pakistan Textile Mills Association and Punjab Board of Investment and Trade- and they have expressed an interest in such joint ventures,” he added.
Wang said that Pakistan’s textile sector would be able to upgrade its dilapidated technology and China can have access to European markets under through the country’s Generalised System of Preferences (GSP) Plus status, he added.
Wang, who is currently heading a delegation of Chinese companies in Punjab, further said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will bring other investment avenues as well.
“Fresh investments and joint ventures between different business groups of Pakistan and other nations due to the CPEC initiative could push the investment figure to $100 billion in the future.”
Currently, there are around 700 small, medium and large scale Chinese companies working in Pakistan, and the number is likely to increase in the coming years, said the official.
The PCJCCI is currently examining different sectors like electronics, automotive, education exchange programs, insurance, agriculture and textile for ways to establish a joint link.
“We are expecting to introduce the first Chinese commercial vehicle in Pakistan by the end of next year.”
Talking about the major inflow of Chinese investments in Punjab under CPEC or business-to-business groups, Wang said that Punjab is a big market with over 100 million people, its infrastructure and inter-city connectivity is much better than other provinces.
There is a strong desire on the part of Chinese investors to relocate their units to Pakistan and then send the products back. “This might help the country improve the trade balance in coming years,” Wang added.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 5th, 2016.
Tags: agriculture, All Pakistan Textile Mills Association, Bangladesh, Cheap labor, China, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, Chinese companies, Chinese investors, CPEC, European markets, Generalised System of Preferences, GSP, improve the trade balance, low-wage workers, Pakistan, Pakistan’s textile sector, Pakistani workers, Punjab, Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, Shandong, textiles, Vietnam, Wang Zihai