China plans to shift part of $300b textiles to Pakistan

| Pre-feasibility studies already done for establishing industrial zone in Pakistan | Govt must ensure safety of Chinese investors for plan’s successful implementation

ISLAMABAD - China is seriously planning to shift part of its $300 billion textile industry to Pakistan, in coming years.
This was revealed by one of the Pakistani delegates, who returned to Pakistan on Thursday after eight days official visit to China. After spending more than one week and meeting senior government officials and Chinese businessmen, I can surely say that China is very serious and it is working out a plan to shift textile industry to Pakistan, in coming years, official said.
In this regard, Chinese bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited, ICBC and Pakistani Habib Bank have already carried out studies to establish an industrial zone in Pakistan.
During the briefings Chinese bank representatives told us that they have already done pre-feasibility studies in Gwadar, Pind Daden Khan and Bahawalpur areas, to find an appropriate place to establish 5000 acres industrial zone, he said.
He said that the representatives did not disclosed that which locality they have finally select but hinted that it would be close to Silk Route. The official said that during meetings China showed keen interest in three sectors, namely steel, cement and textiles. He said the Chinese delegates were fully prepared and they asked macro level questions. We answered the pertinent questions with precise answers, for example we told them they could invest in filaments, manufacturing of textile machinery, shuttle less looms and so on, he said.
He said Chinese showed their concerns and wanted to know that how government will provide safety to Chinese business in prevailing law and order situation in Pakistan.
We told them that government was taking stringent and practical measures to restore law and order situation and that businessmen have no threat as the terrorist activities were confined to some areas, and generally business community has no threat, he said. Secretary Board of Investment and Secretary Ministry of Textiles also gave comprehensive presentations and answered the questions like Chinese could start a joint venture or on their own, as there were no restrictions in the country as compare to neighbouring country India, he said.
The official said that Chinese investors also asked about the energy issues and they were told that any industry could have their own captive plants and that the government policies were pro investment. He said Chinese bank had hired a chartered accountant who gave specific answers to Chinese business community queries regarding investment related matters.
Sharing his observations the official said that China has reduced subsidies to its textile sector, and only running the sector for employment purpose, after enjoying the world’s second top cotton producing country status. There is a general understanding that due to one child policy, in coming days, one child will replace his parents, who are already on the verge of life expectancy and have entered old age, in near future, the population would reduce, while the resources would improve, due to inheritance, it would have less manpower, so in coming days China would reduce textiles and would go for food security, he said  Adding, and to meet its domestic demands it wants to shift industry somewhere else, most likely to Pakistan, he said.
 If one of the prominent Chinese banks is investing in Pakistan to establish industrial zone, it means China is serious and wants business, now it is up to Pakistan that whether it utilises the opportunity by offering maximum facilitation to Chinese investors or not, the official concluded.

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