ISLAMABAD-The Board of Investment (BOI) is playing a pivotal role in assisting B2B enterprises to attract foreign investment and ensure successful completion of projects, as the second phase of CPEC primarily focuses on industrial development through B2B investments.
Additional Secretary of BOI Khashihur Rehman said, “Consistent rise in foreign direct investment (FDI) from China since the inception of CPEC highlights China’s position as Pakistan’s primary source of FDI. This phenomenon underscores strong interest of Chinese investors in further expanding their investment footprint on Pakistan’s economic landscape.” “As opposed to the first phase of CPEC, which was based on government-to-government (G2G) ties, the second phase will be based on B2B and people-to-people (P2P) ties,” the additional secretary said while talking to WealthPK.
He said, “Special Economic Zones (SEZs) represent a strategic component of industrial policy that can significantly drive national economic growth. As a result, they play a pivotal role in enhancing industrial competitiveness, creating job opportunities, fostering technology transfer, and ultimately contributing to the overall economic progress of a nation.”
“Pakistan is in dire need of rapid industrialization, and SEZs can help with its industrialization because the country has a deep market with a cheap and young labour force.” “In order to jointly undertake serious initiatives to attract Chinese enterprises into Pakistan, it is necessary to include major stakeholders from both sides,” he opined. “Pakistan can leverage its natural endowments and low-cost human resources to attract Chinese industries to relocate to our country because relocating light manufacturing from China can be used as a tool to kickstart industrialization and structural transformation in Pakistan,” he elaborated.
Khashihur Rehman further told WealthPK that since 2012, the BOI had been working hard to speed up industrialization in Pakistan. Highlighting the BOI policy, he said, Pakistan had adopted a very liberal investment policy that put no restriction on remitting capital, profits and dividends. 100% foreign equity and 100% repatriation of profits is allowed. Exemption of taxes on import of capital goods is available, he added.
“All sectors are open to investment. Under the policy, the foreign investors are granted the same status as those of local and domestic investors, and all facilities available to the local and domestic investors are also extended to the foreign investors on an equal basis. Establishment of branches and liaison offices is also allowed,” he said.
The BOI additional secretary further informed, “We have developed a dedicated Pakistan-China B2B investment portal in collaboration with the China Council for International Investment Promotion (CCIIP) for both Pakistani and Chinese companies, which will enable matchmaking of prospective businesses from both countries interested in entering into joint ventures (JVs). Anyone interested in investment in Pakistan can find potential partners to expand and transfer business or to set up factories in the SEZS”.