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November 1, 2018

Pakistan proposes CPEC partnership to Germany


November 1, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Wednesday offered German companies to invest in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the landmark framework of regional connectivity seen as a game-changer for the region.

“The government is focusing on export-oriented policies to boost the country’s exports and put economy on a growth trajectory,” Zafar Hasan, Secretary Planning, Development & Reform, said while talking to a delegation from the European economic giant, in a meeting at his office.

Jens Jokisch, Deputy Ambassador of Germany to Pakistan, led the mission comprising leading business concerns.

Out of total nine SEZs, being developed under the CPEC, Pakistan is striving to kick-start around four of them as early as possible as a yawning trade deficit is wreaking havoc on the economy with exports down in the dumps and imports on the rise.

Although, the trade deficit has narrowed down in recent months but there is still room for improvement to boost up exports manifold in months and years ahead. The secretary said the present government was cognisant of issues plaguing the national economy and was endeavoring to overcome challenges through effective economic policy making.

“The measures are being taken to enhance tax-to-GDP-ratio, while security situation in the country has also improved significantly over the past couple of years, and currently Pakistan is emerging fast as an attractive destination for foreign investment,” Hasan said.

Emphasising that the government was committed to enhance trade, the secretary underlined that there were several potential areas where German companies could invest to the mutual benefit of two countries.

“We are looking for trade and not aid,” stated the Secretary.

He also suggested that German investors could launch joint ventures in collaboration with local companies and transfer of technology, especially related to hydropower generation.

He said the base of the CPEC was being expanded and it was open to third party participation under bilateral arrangements, adding that the SEZs and

Export Promotion Zones (EPZs) did not restrict participation by any other country on competitive bidding.

“We would like German companies to invest in SEZs and EPZss under CPEC,” said the Secretary.

A statement issued by the ministry said the visiting delegation expressed interest in exploring avenues for potential economic cooperation in future between the two countries.

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