PESHAWAR: The 2nd phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is set to prioritise Business-to-Business (B2B) investments, aiming to further strengthen ties and foster industrial growth.
The Board of Investment (BOI) has reaffirmed its commitment to facilitating B2B enterprises and attracting foreign investments, signaling a shift in the CPEC’s approach to industrial development.
Rise in Chinese FDI
Khashihur Rehman, Additional Secretary of BOI, highlighted the sustained increase in foreign direct investment (FDI) from China since the inception of CPEC. This trend underscores China’s position as Pakistan’s primary source of FDI, reflecting the strong interest of Chinese investors in expanding their footprint within Pakistan. In contrast to the first phase of CPEC, which centered on government-to-government (G2G) relations, the second phase will emphasize B2B and people-to-people (P2P) connections.
Strategic Role SEZs
Special Economic Zones (SEZs) are poised to play a pivotal role in Pakistan’s industrial policy. These zones are expected to drive national economic growth by enhancing industrial competitiveness, generating job opportunities, facilitating technology transfer, and contributing significantly to overall economic progress.
Pakistan’s allure for Chinese industries lies in its deep market and cost-effective young labor force. The relocation of light manufacturing from China to Pakistan is seen as a catalyst for rapid industrialization and structural transformation in the country.
BOI has been diligently working on speeding up industrialization in Pakistan since 2012. Pakistan’s liberal investment policy places no restrictions on the remittance of capital, profits, and dividends. It allows for 100% foreign equity and full repatriation of profits, coupled with tax exemptions for importing capital goods. All sectors are open to investment, with foreign investors enjoying equal privileges as local counterparts.
Pakistan-China B2B Investment Portal
To further promote business partnerships and investments, BOI has collaborated with the China Council for International Investment Promotion (CCIIP) to establish a dedicated Pakistan-China B2B investment portal. This platform enables prospective businesses from both countries to find suitable partners for joint ventures (JVs) and investment opportunities in Special Economic Zones (SEZs), facilitating business expansion and technology transfer.
The second phase of CPEC, with its focus on B2B investments and industrial growth, marks a major milestone in the economic relationship between China and Pakistan. As both countries strive for closer collaboration and economic progress, these developments are expected to have far-reaching impacts on regional and global trade dynamics.