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Bahrain to benefit from CPEC: Nawaz Sharif

30 March, 2017

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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Wednesday said the government of Bahrain as well as its business community could benefit immensely from the opportunities and prospects of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Talking to a high-level delegation consisting of prominent businessmen and investors from Bahrain that called on him at the PM's Office, Nawaz said the CPEC was a corridor of energy, roads, motorways, pipelines, rail networks and optic fibre with an investment outlay of more than $51 billion.

Kingdom of Bahrain's Minister for Industries, Commerce and Tourism Zayed R Alzayani was also present on the occasion. The Bahraini business delegation was led by Khalid Almoayed, chairman of the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industries (BCCI).

Talking to the delegates, the premier said that the CPEC was not only a framework of regional connectivity but also a game changer for the region.

He said the economic outlook of Pakistan had altogether changed in the last three years, which was being acknowledged by independent financial rating institutions. "My government after coming into power started making best of its efforts to put the economy on a path of sustained long-term economic growth. In this context, focus remained on public-private partnership in the development process, improved productivity in the agriculture sector, removal of energy shortage, enhanced industrial competitiveness, better service delivery system and upgraded human capital formation", a press release quoting the prime minister read.

He said Pakistan was open for business and there were over 1,000 multinational companies profitably operating in Pakistan.

He said that the companies enjoyed a level playing field with the domestic investors and did not face any barriers to entry or exit. They could expand capital and infrastructure without hindrance, he added. "I am confident that investors from Bahrain will benefit from opportunities arising from the economic growth of Pakistan leading to further growth of our trade relations," he added.

The prime minister said the foreign direct investment (FDI) was protected under law through the acts of parliament and the law of special economic zones had been made to meet the global challenges of competitiveness to attract FDI. "The law allows creating industrial cluster with liberal incentives, infrastructure, investor facilitation services to enhance productivity and reduce cost of doing business for economic development and poverty reduction," he added. The PM assured the delegation that Pakistan was a land of unlimited opportunities and offered investment opportunities in various sectors such as the energy, agriculture, food processing, infrastructure, information and communication technology, textiles, apparel, surgical instruments and leather products.

He said that Pakistan welcomed the initiative of establishing the Pakistan-Bahrain Joint Holding Company by Bahraini businessmen. "We are confident that it will be successful in increasing bilateral trade and investment," he added.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan, Pakistan's Ambassador to Bahrain Javed Malik and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.

The Bahraini businessmen appreciated the prime minister's policy of welcoming foreign investment and said that they were keen to play an active role in expanding the volume of trade between the two countries. The Bahraini delegates expressed their keen interest to take part in Pakistan's emerging economy and highlighted their interest in further expanding exports from Pakistan to Gulf counties.

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