Cheap labor attracts Chinese investment, says Khalid Mansoor – Newspaper
KARACHI: Labor cost in Pakistan is half that of China, making the country an attractive destination for Chinese capital, according to Khalid Mansoor, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
In a presentation to the Pakistan Stock Exchange on Friday, Mansoor said China is seeing a shortage of skilled labor due to its internal migration patterns. Its human resources problem is accentuated due to the one-child policy that was in place until recently. In contrast, Pakistan’s population is relatively young and growing, making local labor more affordable for Chinese investors.
Mansoor said various projects under CPEC are progressing at a rapid pace alongside the development of nine special economic zones (SEZs) as well as a free zone in Gwadar. He dispelled the impression that SEZs give preference to Chinese investors, adding that German and Dutch companies as well as a large number of local companies have invested in these zones to benefit from a range of tax incentives.
“Our vision under CPEC is export and import substitution to make Pakistan a manufacturing hub,” he said.
After the conclusion of the early harvest phase of CPEC (2015-20) which solved the energy deficit problem, the current phase focuses on the development of manufacturing and industrial capacities until 2025, he said. declared. The final phase, which will begin in 2025, will ensure that the economic growth propelled by CPEC is long-term and sustainable, he added.
SAPM noted that 5,300 megawatt power plants are already in place while 3,500 MW projects will become operational in the current calendar year. Additional 4,000 MW power plants are being planned, he said, with new capacity mainly in the renewable energy segment.
He said 26% of the development work at Gwadar International Airport has already been completed. The government has built the 1,800 kilometer Karakoram highway and laid an 820 km fiber optic line under the CPEC, he said. Slum dwellers in Machar settlement will be relocated in a respectful manner to develop Karachi Comprehensive Coastal Development Zone at a cost of $3.8 billion, he added.
Mansoor pointed out that the one-stop operation to help foreign investors has eliminated the need to apply for up to 37 separate approvals required under the previous system.
Posted in Dawn, January 15, 2022