Pakistan to focus on Gwadar port enhancing its exports: Haroon

BEIJING, Nov. 4 (INP): Haroon Sharif, former Minister of State and Chairman of Board of Investment, Pakistan hoped that Pakistan will take full benefit of Gwadar sea port for enhancing its exports, and promoting trade’s connectivity with the rest of the World.

Addressing Beijing Forum on CPEC held here, he said, as a large agriculture country, Pakistan can produce many foods items for exporting to China and other countries. The most important route to achieve objective is the development of Gwadar Port on fast-track basis.

As its unique geographical location, Gwadar can provide a cost-effective short route for trades to benefit both China and Pakistan.

Talking about Pakistani enterprises’ advantages, Mr Sharif said they could make better products for exports via the technology transfer as China has invested a lot in modern and high technologies. Pakistan has lower labor costs to benefit China.

Mr Sharif stressed for Pakistan, this partnership will be helpful, if the investment could create more job opportunities and improve its exports.

According to a report of Gwadar Pro net, Mr Sharif introduced the government’s incentives for foreign investors. If a Chinese company and a Pakistani company make a joint venture (JV) in Pakistan, the JV is entitled to a ten-year tax holiday, including the imports of machinery from China.

If 80 percent of JV’s products could be exported, the JV’s tax exemption period will be extended to 20 years. Pakistan is also establishing special economic zones, where cheaper electricity and other kinds of facilities will be available for all investors. Pakistan’s labor costs will be comparatively low, he added.

Mr Sharif is also very optimistic about Pak-China’s cooperation in the third-party market. As Pakistan has abundant raw materials and cheap labor and China has technologies, Chinese enterprises could set up plants and produce in Pakistan.

For example, Chinese textile companies could make produce in Pakistan and then exports to European countries as Pakistan has signed GSP Plus favorable contract with them on textile products.

Besides EU market, Pakistan and China will also take the benefits of Gwadar Port as it is very close to the Gulf countries, like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and United Arab Emirates. Thus, products to be sold to these countries will be more competitive due to the short distance and lower freight charge.

Mr Sharif advised foreign investors to form joint ventures with local partners. He said there is no limit to shareholdings for foreign investors in the joint ventures. Investors should take advantages of Pakistan’s abundant labor force and create more employments. Foreign investors are also expected to transfer technology to Pakistan, he contended.