Pakistani business environment improving under CPEC: Chinese Scholar

BEIJING, Jan 14 (APP):The successful development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a flagship project of Belt and Road Initiative in recent years has ushered in historic development opportunities for Pakistan.

The construction of the CPEC, Pakistan’s strategic position, Pakistanis’ love for peace and their keen expectation for a better future, have made the world’s major investors termed Pakistan as a place of huge potential and immense investment value, Cheng Xizhong, visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law said in his article published in China Economic Net.

He said Pakistan’s security situation had improved substantially, as the government issued a series of favorable policies, and the business environment improved significantly.

China was one of the world’s major investors. Its huge investment in Pakistan had played an important leading role and Pakistan was now China’s largest investment destination in South Asia, he added.

Cheng remarked that on top of that, the Government of Pakistan and all walks of life were well aware of the importance of improving the investment environment.

Pakistan’s political parties, federal and local governments at all levels, all sectors of society, and the people of the whole country need to stand together and focus on the social and economic development of the country, so as to quickly change the status of poverty and backwardness, and get Pakistan on the track of fast development, he added.

Referring to Reform and Opening-up in China, he opined that the improvement of the investment environment was also a continuous process and there was no end. “Anything that is not conducive to the investment of domestic and foreign capital should be changed and obstacles should be cleared away.”

He said in order to attract more and more domestic and foreign capital to invest in Pakistan, the continuity of policies should be well maintained, adding, there should be judicial guarantee for the continuity of policies.

Pakistan is ranked 108 among 190 economies in the WB Ease of Doing Business ranking, witnessing an improvement from 136 in 2018 to 108 in 2019. It has secured a place among the world’s top 10 business climate improvers. International credit rating agency Moody’s has also upgraded Pakistan’s credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’.

Foreign companies have made additional investments in Pakistan. Last October, Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Port Holdings committed investment of $240 million for container terminal capacity increase at Port of Karachi.

In the same month, Nestle inaugurated a new juice plant worth $22 million in Punjab to increase its production capacity in Pakistan. Cargill and PepsiCo, global food and agricultural producers, both said they would expand or make new investment in Pakistan.

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