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Ambassador Sun Weidong's Remarks at The Round Table Conference on "Pakistan-Paradise for Investment" on 14 sep 2015
I am very pleased to attend the Round Table Conference on “Pakistan-Paradise for Investment”. First of all, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate President Mamnoon Hussain for your successful visit to China last week. This reflects the solidarity and mutual support between the two iron brothers of China and Pakistan.
It is really heartening to see that the environment of investment in Pakistan is continuously improving and Pakistan has emerged as one of the desired investment destinations. I think the main reasons leading to this positive change may include the following:
First, Pakistan has unique geographic location. It is the gateway to the Central Asian states, the Gulf states and East Asian countries. With the implementation of favorable policy of investment, the attraction to foreign investment will definitely increase.
Second, Pakistan has quality and diversified workforce. Pakistan has a huge population of around 196 million, with a big population below the age of 25. Pakistan also has a large pool of trained and experienced engineers, bankers, lawyers and other professionals with many having substantial international experience.
Third, the overall security situation has improved to a great extent. Since the launching of the Zarb-e-Azb operation in June last year, significant progress on counter-terrorism has been made.
Fourth, Pakistan has a favorable economic outlook. In the 2014-15 fiscal year, Pakistan has improved quantitatively and qualitatively as growth achieved 4.24%. The growth momentum is broad based, as sectors of agriculture, industry and services have supported economic growth.
I think Pakistan has remarkable advantages to attract foreign investment and I am confident that the investment environment will improve gradually in the days to come.
Ladies and gentlemen,
China’s economy has maintained strong momentum of growth in the past years and China has become one of the major foreign direct investment destinations. The actual use of foreign direct investment of China in 2014 reached almost US $120 billion, making China the largest foreign investment destination. I think there are many reasons why China has become the most favorite investment destination in the world. We have maintained long-time political stability and improved governance constantly, which boosted the confidence of foreign investors. We have launched comprehensive reforms and opening-up, released great market potentials and obtained enormous dividends of market reforms. We have carried out economic restructuring and made market play the driving force in resources allocation and the formation of the market regulations. We have now more focus on the quality, sustainability and efficiency of economic growth rather than the speed and size. All the above factors have helped create a favorable environment for FDI inflow into China.
On the other hand, China’s outbound direct investment has also increased remarkably in recent years. In 2014, China’s overall outbound investment reached US$ 116 billion, an increase of 15.5% over the previous year. China’s non-financial investment to Pakistan in 2014 reached US$ 1 billion, a dramatic increase of 739.4% over the previous year and the major investment fields include telecommunications, chemical industry, electricity, oil and gas, among others. I see this as an obvious dividend brought by China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. To help promote China’s outbound investment, China has launched the US$40 billion Silk Road Fund. China has also launched the Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and decided to subscribe half of the total US$100 billion legal capital. These financial initiatives will surely help promote China’s outbound direct investment in the neighboring countries, including Pakistan.
Ladies and gentlemen,
The improved business and investment environment in Pakistan has created favorable conditions for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. The CPEC has become the main platform of our all-round cooperation and the major and pilot project of the “Belt and Road Initiative”. By now, we have established the coordination mechanism of CPEC with the Joint Cooperation Committee playing the leading role. During President Xi Jinping’s visit to Pakistan, the two sides agreed to forge a new bilateral cooperation layout with CPEC as the center, and cooperation on Gwadar port, energy, transport infrastructure, and industry as the focus. At present, remarkable progress has been made in building CPEC and a number of major projects have been inaugurated and more projects are in the pipeline.
Undoubtedly, the CPEC will cover the whole Pakistan and will bring benefits to all the people of Pakistan. The Chinese government encourages Chinese companies to invest in Pakistan and participate in the construction of the CPEC. I am convinced that with our joint efforts, more progress will be achieved in the coming days and benefits will be brought to the people of Pakistan and the region. That will in turn help achieve the goal of China-Pakistan Community of Shared Destiny at an early date.
I wish the Round Table Conference a full success! May China-Pakistan friendship last forever!