In line with the changing global economic paradigm, enhancing regional connectivity, especially with neighbouring countries, is the most promising option for sustained economic growth, say experts.

During a conference organised by the Pakistan-China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI), Punjab Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar highlighted that China had emerged as the second largest economy of the world and international experts were envisaging a far bigger role for China on the global economic horizon.

He emphasised the need for regional connectivity with friendly neighbouring countries, particularly China, which had involved Pakistan in all its mega projects connecting the region by road and sea.

“I welcome Chinese proposals for the betterment of economic and business relations,” Sarwar said.

Speaking on the occasion, PCJCCI President SM Naveed said, “Over the last decade, we have seen Chinese investment in Pakistan grow as large Chinese state-owned companies and private sector enterprises have invested in areas such as oil exploration, power generation, textile, etc.”

Speakers at the conference underlined that there was great potential to be tapped in China-Pakistan economic cooperation, particularly in view of the concept of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

They added that the Chinese government continued to encourage Chinese companies to invest and do business in Pakistan.

Naveed apprised the conference participants that the PCJCCI was playing an important role in facilitating joint ventures in the private sector, arranging visits of delegations to and from China, conducting exhibitions both physically and digitally.

Shandong Hi-Speed Pakistan Development Company (Private) Limited CEO Wang Jieqing, All Pakistan Chinese Enterprises’ Association Chairperson Sunny Yang and Chinese Businessmen Association (Punjab) President Luo Aiqiang (Elton) were of the unanimous view that regional connectivity would definitely help in easing the repatriation of profit to China, discouraging smuggling through avoiding complex Customs laws, establishing an alternative dispute resolution/ mediation cell and developing infrastructure support facilities.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 16th, 2021.

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