One Window operation at SEZs to help CPEC investors

Islamabad, September 14 (INP): Pakistan will start one window operation at its CPEC Special Economic Zones (SEZs) to facilitate Chinese and other investors in setting up their businesses, Gwadar Pro reported on Tuesday.

This was stated by Khalid Mansoor, the Special Advisor to Prime Minister on China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) in his first-ever press conference after assuming charge of his post.

Mansoor said the first phase of CPEC is almost complete with a US$25 billion investment. He said projects worth $13 billion are up and running while the remaining projects are near completion.

The special advisor said previously the investors had to visit various government departments to set up their businesses but now Pakistan will ensure that all facilities are provided through one window.

In this regard, he said, the management of SEZs will be fully empowered to facilitate the investors. He said the next meeting of the Joint Cooperation Committee (JCC) meeting on CPEC is expected to be held on 23rd and 24th September in Islamabad.

Mansoor was accompanied by the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) of various Chinese companies operating in Allama Iqbal Industrial City, Faisalabad. He said the Chinese CEOs had met Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier in the day to thank him for resolving some issues and to explain their future business plans.

He said these Chinese companies have already invested over US$845 million in Pakistan and they are working on more projects.

Explaining the projects set up by the Chinese companies, he said, a company has set up the industry to provide low-cost pre-fabricated houses. The earthquake-proof insulated house will cost around Rs4 million and will be built within 40 days. Similarly, Chinese companies have set up mobile assembly units, textile manufacturing units, LED lights factory and floor tiles industry in Faisalabad.

The new CPEC Authority chief said peace in Afghanistan will provide an opportunity to expand CPEC connectivity to the war-hit country. “In my opinion, it offers great opportunities as Afghanistan will need reconstruction after peace and stability.” He said China has expanded connectivity to various parts of the world through the Belt and Road (BRI) Initiative.

When asked if Chinese companies would also purchase agricultural land in Pakistan, he said it had not been discussed yet. However, he said, Agri-Farms by Chinese investors can improve the country’s agricultural sector with the cooperation of China.

He said that in the second phase of CPEC, the focus will be placed on projects other than energy and roads.

Khalid Mansoor said all political parties of Pakistan have supported the CPEC as it is a national project.

He explained that action plans have been prepared up for CPEC projects that are moving a bit slow and the government will enhance the pace on those now.

To another question, he said special security measures were being taken to protect the safety of CPEC investors.