Pakistani president calls for Chinese, ASEAN investment in SEZs propelling three-way cooperation
Pakistani President Arif Alvi on Friday encouraged investors from China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) to avail the emerging opportunities of making profitable investments in the country's Special Economic Zones (SEZs), which are subject to special supportive policies, attractive tariff and tax concessions for foreign investors.
Alvi made the remarks via a video speech at the opening ceremony of the 17th China-ASEAN Expo (CAEXPO) and China-ASEAN Business and Investment Summit held in Nanning in south China's Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, the president's office said in a statement.
He said Pakistan has deep-rooted cultural and economic links with China-ASEAN region and the country is deeply committed to further strengthening and diversifying these ties by exploring the feasibility of a China-ASEAN trade triangle that would propel three-way cooperation in trade, investment, culture and tourism.
"China has emerged as an economic hub and a strong exponent of free trade and multilateralism" and China has joined in ASEAN-initiated Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is the world's largest trade agreement to date, according to the president.
Pakistan has multifaceted economic cooperation with China, including a free trade agreement, which entered its expanded phase II early this year, and the transformative China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) which has brought great economic benefits to Pakistan and enhanced connectivity in the region, he said.
"With completion of infrastructure and energy projects, CPEC has now entered a new phase of greater emphasis on strengthening Pakistan's industry, agriculture and socioeconomic sectors," he said, adding that CPEC is tapping the potentials of Pakistan and it will also serve as an opportunity for ASEAN members to invest in the south Asian country.
"Pakistan is pursuing this objective through its sectoral dialogue partnership with ASEAN and membership of ASEAN Regional Forum. Pakistan is now exploring the feasibility of concluding a Free Trade Agreement with ASEAN," he said.
Pakistan is participating in the 17th CAEXPO as a Special Partner Country for the first time and is making full spectrum representation through country pavilion, commercial display booths and an exclusive trade and investment conference on the sidelines.