Commerce Minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz Holds Meeting with Chinese EXIM Bank President Mr. Ren Shengjun
Shanghai, China, October 20, 2023:
Federal Minister of Commerce, Industry & Production, Dr. Gohar Ejaz, was given a warm welcome in Shanghai by Mr. Ren Shengjun, the President of the EXIM Bank. The meeting was convened to discuss the strengthening of bilateral cooperation and the pivotal role of China in the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and Pakistan’s economic growth.
President Mr. Ren Shengjun commenced the meeting by expressing his desire to see Pakistan become China’s hub for productivity and development, emphasizing that now is the opportune time to seize these prospects. He was encouraged by the progress of CPEC and recognized the positive impact of infrastructure developments on connectivity and Pakistan’s foreign trade.
President Mr. Ren Shengjun disclosed that EXIM Bank had concluded its internal processes for debt restructuring, which would facilitate transactions in RMB and further enhance trade relations. He commended the establishment of the PCC as a promising mechanism for driving private investment and thanked Minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz for his visit, underscoring its significance in enhancing communication.
Minister Dr. Gohar Ejaz responded by emphasizing the vital role of China as a key partner in the Belt and Road Initiative, which has already transformed lives in Pakistan. The initial phase of BRI infrastructure development has eradicated electricity outages and facilitated the generation of surplus electricity, setting the stage for industrialization.
The Minister highlighted the upcoming phase of BRI, focused on private-to-private sector cooperation, and praised Pakistan’s Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) for expeditiously removing bottlenecks and fast-tracking major projects. Dr. Gohar Ejaz announced the establishment of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Karachi, Lahore, Multan, and Faisalabad, each equipped with state-of-the-art facilities to facilitate industrial growth.
To boost the export of products resulting from increased industrial activities, Pakistan is actively negotiating agreements for market access with regional countries and blocs while simultaneously exploring transit trade arrangements with these nations. The Karachi transit route holds immense potential for the development of industrial units along its path, including official trade in RMB with Russia and other countries.
The Minister highlighted Pakistan’s commitment to opening up its mining sector for investment and encouraged Chinese companies to become partners in this development. He also expressed a significant interest from Chinese firms in the agriculture sector.
Dr. Gohar Ejaz announced the formation of the Pakistan Corporate Consortium (PCC), comprising ten top-performing business houses, aiming to partner with potential Chinese investors for investment and the establishment of Joint Ventures. The Minister requested EXIM Bank’s support in relocating industries to Pakistan.
The meeting concluded on an optimistic note, with both sides reaffirming their commitment to strengthen economic ties and enhance cooperation between Pakistan and China, a partnership set to bring prosperity and development to both nations.