BE2C2 Report; Dec 30, 2016 — The country’s apex body on trade and commerce has once again warned the government against ignoring local investors while granting incentives to their Chinese counterparts and enterprises in China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects, a statement said on Wednesday, reports The News.
“In order to make China-Pakistan Economic Corridor a game-changer for Pakistan, the interests of local investors must be protected and they should be provided the same incentives as granted to foreign investors,” Abdul Rauf Alam, president Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry’s (FPCCI) said as he launched the trade body’s of stance on the region’s biggest ever business initiative.
“Besides, the interests of the residents of Balochistan and Gwadar also need to be safeguarded through legislation,” and “by providing them with technical and vocational training to ensure their share in the economic sphere,” reports the Nation.
“Pakistan, especially Balochistan will face heavy influx of Chinese from the Muslim population areas of China alongside the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor route and according to an Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry estimate, they will become the majority in Pakistan’s largest province by 2048.”
Mr. Alam also emphasized on encouraging overseas Pakistanis to invest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor related projects including investment in industrial zones.
“It has to be ensured the incentives granted to projects in these zones should not affect the profitability of the existing industries. If the government provides any incentive to the Chinese either by exempting them from indirect taxes or reducing the tax rates then it should be for all –old and new units,” Alam recommended.
The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry president said the CPEC would prove to be the engine of long term growth not only for Pakistan’s but also for the regional economy.
CPEC is expected to become fully functional by 2027 or 2030 and generate trade revenue in excess of $500 billion annually for Pakistan.
Highlighting the suggestions for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor projects, he said that management of economic zones should completely be managed by the private sector as it was a normal practice in industrialized countries.
“The success of economic zones is directly related to resolving energy crisis and maintaining law and order situation,” Alam added. The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry recommended complete transparency in all projects and components of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and take the apex trade body on board in all agreements.