By Sameer Nazir
KARACHI: Recognizing the importance of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) for the economic and social development of Pakistan and the region, the Consulate General of Switzerland in Karachi and the Swiss Business Council of Pakistan (SBC) organized an interactive session on 27 April 2017 to discuss “Opportunities for Foreign Investors in CPEC”.
Welcoming the guests present among which were several diplomats, Chief Executive Officers of various multinationals including Swiss companies, leading Pakistani businessmen, and media representatives, the Consul General – Mr. Philippe Crevoisier mentioned that the Embassy of Switzerland arranged a similar event last month in Islamabad. Mr. Crevoisier was of the opinion that many foreign investors initially considered that CPEC is mainly a China-Pakistan venture. However as the project has advanced, many new business opportunities are coming up for other countries to be part of CPEC.
In his opening presentation the President of SBC – Mr. Farhat Ali highlighted that CPEC for Pakistan is all about connectivity, thereby, opening up and aligning the whole of the country, notably, the remote areas of Pakistan into the mainstream economic growth of the country, CPEC is all about the availability of much needed energy to spur the economic growth of the country, the over 32 Special Economic Zones being established under CPEC are meant to spur industrial and commercial growth supported by the government providing incentives in favor of ease and cost of doing business. All these goods happening, on the soil of Pakistan, are the assets of the country open to be capitalized upon by the local and foreign investors from all countries. It is encouraging to note that the Swiss Companies operative in Pakistan are already availing the benefit drawn out of CPEC and others are on the way to do so. Mr. Ali also said that “Considering potential of CPEC SBC – in collaboration with Switzerland Global Enterprise (S-GE) and other Chambers of Commerce of Switzerland – is all set to hold a series of events under the title of ‘Focus Pakistan’ in Switzerland during first week of July 2017.”
Chief Executive Officer of KPK Economic Zones Development & Management Company – Mr. Syed Muhammad Mohsin and Director Projects of the Sindh Board of Investment – Mr. Abdul Azeem Uqaili, who spoke at the event, emphasized that under CPEC project their provincial governments are proactively facilitating existing and new foreign investors to set themselves up in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ)s being set up all over the country along the proximity of corridor route alignment.Consul General of China – Mr. Wang Yu also spoke on the occasion.