LAHORE: Chairman CPEC Authority Lt. General (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa Thursday assured his full support to Lahore Chamber for its plan to hold Gwadar Business Moot in Gwadar by March.
Talking to President of the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry Mian Tariq Misbah, Chairman CPEC Authority said that was a huge project which can change destiny of Pakistan. “I would visit LCCI soon to share upcoming business opportunities in Gwadar”, Lt General (Retd) Asim Saleem Bajwa said. He said that work on CPEC project is in full swing and under developed areas are being given importance.
Chairman CPEC Authority stressed upon the need for projecting CPEC as a regional connectivity initiative to make Pakistan emerge as an economically developing state. “Prime objective of the CPEC is to improve the lives of people of Pakistan by building an economic corridor promoting bilateral connectivity, construction, explore potential bilateral investment, economic and trade, logistics and people to people contact for regional connectivity”, he said and added that this mega project include integrated Transport & IT systems including Road, Rail, Port, Air and Data Communication Channels, Energy Cooperation, Industrial & economic zones, Agricultural Development, Socio-Economic Development, Tourism Cooperation & People to People Communication etc.
LCCI President Mian Tariq Misbah congratulated both Pakistani and Chinese Governments, Armed Forces of Pakistan, contractors, logistic companies, construction companies and every individual who has been involved in turning this dream into reality.
He said that there should be a level playing field for both the Chinese and local investors. So far, it has been observed that many products for CPEC projects are being imported at zero duties even though these products are manufactured locally.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that in order to make sure that our industrial sector and economy benefit through CPEC, local raw materials should be given preference in CPEC projects and only those raw materials which not manufactured locally should be zero rated. This will also make sure that raw materials imported from China for various CPEC projects are not being traded in local market.
“On the model of automobile industry in Pakistan, the Chinese investors should also be encouraged to develop local vendor industry in Pakistan for the supply of raw materials for the CPEC projects. This will especially help to boost the SME sector in Pakistan”, the LCCI President added.
He said that while many energy and road infrastructure projects have been completed under the CPEC, the progress on the completion of Special Economic Zones planned under CPEC is really slow. We recommend that the pace of development activities on Special Economic Zones should be really expedited.
Mian Tariq Misbah said that business community strongly feels that Government should extend the same Tax concessions/other incentives to local investors as it is extending to Chinese investors to provide a level playing field for entrepreneurs of both countries.
He said that establishment of Joint Technical/Testing Labs in SEZs developed under CPEC to serve the needs of export industries and assistance in Chinese standards conformance and certification.