(10 September 2018)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President AKIA, Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said that the business community has always tried to promote the need of better and warm relations of Pakistan with other countries, given to its significance in the growth and betterment of national economy. Visit of different delegations from Saudi Arabia, US, China and Iran after formation of new government and their meetings with Prime Minister Imran Khan, COAS General Qamar Jawed Bajwa, Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi and other higher ups will be helpful in image building of Pakistan internationally and will play supportive role in Pakistan’s social and economic growth and bilateral trade, essentially required to curb the current economic crisis of the Country.
The veteran business leader while talking to the business community said that inclusion of social sector schemes including clean drinking water, health, education and technical training in the CPEC project will be vital in increasing living standard of people across the Country. Participation of Central Asia, Europe, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and other countries will add value to the multi billion CPEC project and will benefit the entire region. Other countries’ investment under CPEC will be an important milestone towards increased foreign investment, bilateral trade, access to new international markets, increased exports and growth of value addition sector in order to obtain better rates for exports.
The former minister said that export promotion zones need to be completed urgently so that other countries can be attracted to invest in the CPEC project, however, the local investors should be provided equal opportunities. 13 out of 22 projects under CPEC are in progress which has created 70 thousand jobs and increase the Country’s economy by 1 – 2 percent annually. Rashakai and Hataar SEZs were supposed to be completed this year, but the work could not be started yet; constructional work to be started on urgent basis. A chain of technical institutions should be established across the country in order to produce skilled workforce who can earn better incentives in the CPEC projects. National University of Science and Technology (NUST) and Bahria University have been conducting seminars and conferences to maximize benefits of CPEC for the nation, in addition to National Vocational and Technical Training Institution, Skills Development Council and others which are providing technical training and playing their role actively in producing skilled human resources. Such institutions should be promoted and new courses / training should be introduced in accordance to the modern day need.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that there are 12 Gwader related projects in CPEC out of which only one project the port city master plan has completed this year, 3 projects are under construction while 8 are not yet initiated. Gwader airport, Technical center, hospital and clean water project need immediate completion to extend the benefits of CPEC to the local population.