Beijing, October 26, 2014 (PPI-OT): The Federal Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Ishaq Dar held a meeting with Mr. Jiang Jianqing, the Chairman of the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. At the outset Chairman Jian Jianqing expressed his gratitude to the Government of Pakistan for bestowing him with the Hilal-i-Quaid -Azam award. He said that he was honoured and pledged support to strengthening Pak-China relationship.
Minister Ishaq Dar appreciated ICBC’s continued support and expansion of its operations by opening bank branches in Pakistan. He said that being the 6th largest in terms of population in the world, having sizeable middle class, a vibrant consumer market and owing to its geographic location, Pakistan was an ideal location for enterprises eyeing the regional market.
Together with a liberal investment regime and an enormous natural resource endowment, Pakistan offered promising prospects in assuring attractive investment returns in various sectors including energy, power, mining, agriculture and infrastructure, he added. He hoped ICBC’s partnering with enterprises in developing the potential would make it a mutually win-win situation for all parties.
Talking about the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor he said both the countries had agreed to a profile of Early Harvest Projects. ICBC could seize the investment opportunities thus available. He pointed out that infrastructure development of Gwadar was one key area where the bank’s cooperation could be useful. He said Pakistan’s policy regime in the power sector was very rewarding. ICBC may therefore consider supporting the Chinese entrepreneurs who are interested in power sector as IPPs under the rubric of agreed EHP of CPEC.
The Government has set tough targets for itself in our Vision document 2025, he said expressing government’s determination to cut down on wasteful expenses and following strict financial discipline to indicate its resolve. Chairman Jian Jianqing said that ICBC’s current portfolio of projects in Pakistan consists of 24 projects with a cost of USD10 billion. He said that ICBC is talking to a number of Chinese companies for energy projects including solar, wind and hydel.
Other sectors in which the Chinese companies are exploring options are in the Gawadar Industrial Zone, where Chinese entrepreneurs are willing to set up cement and other manufacturing industry. The development of such zones would trigger economic growth and drew attention of the Finance Minister stating that Government support is essential for such ventures.
He said that ICBC is also trying to introduce textile sector of Pakistan to Chinese companies. If GOP can provide preferential policies to Chinese companies investing in Pakistan it can propel accelerated investment in Pakistan from China. The ICBC Chairman suggested that Pakistan should focus on development of its light Engineering sector to improve its economy. He expressed satisfaction on learning that Pakistan taking special steps to cater to the security needs of the Chinese working in Pakistan.
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