Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif visited China on 8-9 November 2014. He was accorded a guard of honor by a contingent of the People’s Liberation Army at the Beijing Airport. Pakistan’s Prime Minister oversaw the signing of 19 agreements and memorandums as he met Chinese President Xi Jinping, mainly on projects relating to China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and electricity generation to further boost bilateral ties. China promised neighboring Pakistan investment worth $42 billion. Nawaz Sharif was hopeful that power crises would be resolved soon. “If we get electricity, then it means we have got everything.” Mr. Sharif had meetings with Chinese Prime Minister and President during which issues of mutual interest, regional stability and bilateral relations came under discussion. Leaders from both the countries also vowed to complete Economic Corridor and other joint projects. Prime Minister invited the Chinese banking entrepreneurs to tap into the Pakistan’s vibrant market with abundant business and economic investment opportunities for country’s banking sector. Pakistan, a close ally of China, suffers from chronic electricity shortages and Islamabad has long sought investment in coal-fired power stations which it sees as a solution to the problem. Other countries have balked from such investments, sometimes on environmental grounds. The new agreements pave the way for Chinese state-owned companies to help build at least four new power stations in Pakistan, while the deals also cover the supply and mining of coal. “The deals being signed between China and Pakistan are worth $42 billion. The whole investment is being made by China,” said Amir Zamir, spokesman for Pakistan’s ministry of planning and development. “There is no loan or aid for the energy projects, but pure investment by the Chinese,” he told. Pakistan has for decades been China’s closest ally in South Asia, and Beijing is a major trading partner and key supplier of military technology to Islamabad. Top business leaders and traders in the country said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif’s visit to China would help Pakistan bring Chinese investment worth billions of dollars in different sectors which would help strengthen the national economy. Pakistan is always open to Chinese businessmen with best investment opportunities which provide healthy environment laced with ample openings to them and other foreign investors, they added. The business community would help Chinese corporate sector identify opportunities in Pakistan’s vast resource-based industries, such as oil, gas and petrochemicals, a fast growing infrastructure sector and other industries, such as power and water, IT, garments, agriculture, livestock, communication, software and automotive manufacturing.
-Published on page#8 November-2014 edition of MOBILE WORLD Magazine