BEIJING: Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan said on Tuesday that corruption was one of the biggest hindrance to investments coming into Pakistan.
PM Imran Khan addressed the China Council for Promotion of International Trade where he said that the government was committed to provide an investor-friendly environment.
The prime minister hailed the economic progress made by China and added that the way China has lifted seven hundred million people out of poverty in the last thirty years was an example for the whole world.
He further appreciated the campaign of President Xi Jinping against corruption.
PM Imran Khan said “One of President’s Xi’s crusades has been against corruption and from I hear that some 400 ministerial-level people in the last five years have been convicted of corruption and put behind jail”.
He added, “This is important not only for Pakistan but for most of the developing world because corruption stops investment. Corruption is one of the biggest impediments to the investments coming into your country.”
The prime minister said “Firms will invest in economies that are cleaner”.
PM Imran lamented “I wish I could follow President Xi’s example and put 500 corrupt people in Pakistan in jail”.
The prime minister further invited the Chinese companies to invest in the diverse sectors of Pakistan that included housing, manufacturing, textile, IT and financial services, agriculture, physical and technological logistics, oil and gas and tourism and hospitality.
PM Imran Khan added, “Pakistan is opening up for the businesses and it was a great time for the Chinese companies to invest in the country.”
PM Imran Khan assured the participants that the office of prime minister will be dealing with all the major investments by adding that all CPEC related investments will also be dealt from the PM office in order to remove all the hurdles in the way of investors.
He added that Pakistan was encouraging the businesses in order to make big profits as the wealth creation will enable us to lift the people out of poverty on the pattern of China.
The prime minister furtjer spoke about Gawadar and said that Gwadar smart port city master plan has been approved. PM Imran said “Work on Gwadar airport is in progress and it will be completed soon. We are now especially concentrating on our Special Economic Zones.”
The premier further said that the country was encouraging businesses to make big profits as the wealth creation will enable us to lift the people out of poverty on the pattern of China.
PM Imran added that the present government has also liberalized the visa regime so that the Chinese can get the visas on arrival at the airport. He noted “This facility has been extended to many other countries as well”.
The Prime Minister further alluded to the geo-strategic location of Pakistan and said that the unique location of Pakistan and its young and vibrant population makes it the attractive country for investment.
He said “Our labour cost is only about twenty per cent of what is in China. Our government has taken a conscious decision to ensure ease of doing business. Pakistan has made the biggest strides in ease of doing business in the world”.
PM holds meetings with Chinese corporate leaders
The prime minister went to Beijing on Tuesday on a two-day visit in order to hold meetings with the Chinese leadership. During his visit, PM Imran will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang.
Both Chinese leaders will host banquets separately in honour of the prime minister. A number of agreements and MoUs are expected to be signed at a ceremony to be witnessed by the two prime ministers.
PM Imran also held a series of meetings with representatives of Chinese companies in Beijing and invited them to invest in Pakistan.
China Gezhouba Group Chairman Lyu Zexiang called on the prime minister in a meeting attended by Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi, Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid, Planning Minister Khusro Bakhtiar, Commerce Adviser Razak Dawood, Chairman Board of Investment Zubair Gillani and Special Assistant Nadeem Babar.
In another meeting, the prime minister met the CEO of Long March Tyre Company Li Qingwen and discussed the business scenario and investment.
The Chairman of Board Orient Holdings Group Limited Jiang Xueming also called on the prime minister Imran and discussed industrial matters.
In another meeting, Chairman China Metallurgical Group Corporation (MCC) Guo Wenqing also met PM Imran Khan.