Pakistan not included in China factory relocation plan. Concrete steps demanded in place of catchy slogans. Cheap labor not enough to lure Chinese investors.

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(July 13, 2020)

President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, FPCCI’s Businessmen Panel Sr. Vice Chairman, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Monday said many companies located in China are relocating to other countries but none is interested in moving to Pakistan.

The US and EU have decided to reduce dependence on China, increasing cost of doing business in China, US-China tensions and coronavirus has compelled many investors to relocate their industries.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that many countries are trying to bank on the opportunity but our policymakers seem not interested at all.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that China is a very close friend of Pakistan but their investors are not interested because they prefer enabling environment over everything.

The former minister noted that Pakistan cannot lure foreign investors on the basis of cheap labour only as factors like political instability, damaging policies, abrupt changes in system, energy crisis, lack of proper infrastructure, skewed tax system, weak laws to tackle contractual obligations and dispute resolution, bureaucratic red tapes and the presence of powerful business mafias cannot be discounted.

He said that from April 2018 to August 2019 56 Chinese companies have relocated to Vietnam, Taiwan, Thailand, Japan and Cambodia while some are in the process of moving to Mexico and Morocco.

Relocation is costly therefore the US and some other countries are mulling support while Japan has already announced incentives.

Seven Chinese giants including Panasonic and LG are moving to Indonesia to create thirty thousand jobs there while India has announced over six billion dollars of benefits for smartphone makers and makers of durable goods.

Pakistan can attract Chinese companies by improving its ranking in the concerned field which must be above India and Bangladesh for which the step-motherly attitude towards the business community should be stopped immediately, he said.

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