Pakistan converting itself into business zone through CPEC: minister

Pakistan is converting itself into a busy business zone speedily by cashing the opportunities being offered by the Gwadar Port under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Pakistani Minister of Maritime Affairs Ali Haider Zaidi said here on Thursday.

Addressing the opening ceremony of the Gwadar Expo 2019, the minister said Pakistan is open for investors and that the Gwadar port has a great potential for being the business and trade hub as it is a gateway to the world and it will benefit Pakistan, its neighbors and the region.

The minister said the progress of Gwadar port will initiate a business activity from the top level to the bottom level of Pakistan's local economy by helping local economy and promoting industrialization.

The Gwadar Expo 2019, with its first edition held last year, was kicked off in the country's southwestern port city of Gwadar, offering a platform of interaction between local and foreign business entrepreneurs, increasing the prospects for exports through fruitful business to business and business to consumer interactions.

According to the China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), the operator of the Gwadar port, over 100 companies are participating in the two-day event and a great output is expected from the interaction between the participants.

On the occasion, Chairman of the COPHC Zhang Baozhong said that majority of the exhibitors and participants of the expo are well-known companies specialized in different sectors, including textile, real estate development, agriculture, logistics, pharmaceutical and machinery manufacturing.

"Several Chinese investors and Pakistani businesses reached their cooperation agreements even before the launching of the expo," said Zhang, adding that he was told by the Chinese investors that they can import as much as goods, such as marble, sea foods and others from Gwadar.

Zhang told the ceremony that the COPHC and other Chinese investors have special focus on the well-being of the local people in Gwadar by building schools, hospitals, potable water supplies, initiating poverty relief projects and green plantations.

Chairman of Gwadar Port Authority Naseer Khan Kashani said the development efforts made in different sectors during the last few years would be started paying back soon with the participation of the foreign and local investors.

Promising the best facilities to the investors and traders, Kashani said the process to give the tax exemptions to the investors has already been started and it would be finalized, approved and announced soon.

Editor: 曹家宁