KARACHI: China will convince its investors to set up industrial projects in the southern deep sea port of Gwadar after the completion of infrastructure developments in the Balochistan city, its envoy said.

“Birds come when the nest is built,” Mu Yongpeng, vice consul general of China’s consulate general in Karachi told media at a meeting on late Tuesday’s evening.

Yongpeng said Chinese government has initiated infrastructure development, constructing roads, developing port and building an airport.

He said the main responsibility lies on the part of the government to provide basic utilities in the area.

China started $57-billion China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) connecting its southern western province Xinjiang, across Pakistan, to Persian Gulf.

Gwadar is the southern centerpiece of China’s ambitious plan of building energy and infrastructure. The start of transportation on the corridor already fuelled trading activities in the Balochistan’s city.

Especially, real estate prices are seen rising again, much to the relief of owners who have been holding the properties and waiting the price recovery for over a decade.

Under the CPEC announced in 2014, a number of Chinese companies have partnered Pakistani government to develop the country’s dilapidated road and deteriorating energy infrastructure. The CPEC is financing rail-based mass transit, special economic zones, energy, infrastructure development and Gwadar-related projects.

The vice counsel general said Gwadar has an immense importance in the Pakistan’s economy. “How come we ask investors to come until there is a proper road network,” he added.

The diplomat said the transformation of a city doesn’t precede a rocket science. Shenzhen, a southeastern city of China, was an underdeveloped area a couple of years back.

Now, the city, connecting Hong Kong to mainland China, has become the centre of attraction because of the developed industrial base.

Yongpeng said Chinese government offered tax incentives, free water and other free utilities to attract investment in the area despite reservations from anti-incentives circles.

Circumventing a question about a criticism from Pakistan’s business community on special tax treatment to Chinese imports, he reiterated his ‘bird and nest’ catch line.

“Pakistan’s government can follow Shenzhen-style development,” he added.

Chinese state-owned companies have already acquired controlling assets in the country’s key companies. Shanghai Electric bought K-Electric – the country’s only integrated power firm – in a $1.6 billion deal that is the biggest private-sector acquisition in the country’s history.

A Chinese-led consortium also acquired 40 percent stake of the Pakistan Stock Exchange.

Source: The News


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