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Pakistani business environment improving under CPEC
Last Updated: 2020-01-13 16:14 |
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by Cheng Xizhong
BEIJING, Jan. 13 (China Economic Net) - Pakistan is ranked 108 among 190 economies in the WB Ease of Doing Business ranking, witnessing an improvement from 136 in 2018 to 108 in 2019. It has secured a place among world’s top 10 business climate improvers. International credit rating agency Moody's has also upgraded Pakistan's credit rating outlook to ‘stable’ from ‘negative’.
Foreign companies have made additional investments in Pakistan. Last October, Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Port Holdings committed investment of $240 million for container terminal capacity increase at Port of Karachi. In the same month, Nestlé inaugurated a new juice plant worth $22 million in Punjab to increase its production capacity in Pakistan. Cargill and PepsiCo, global food and agricultural producers, both said they would expand or make new investment in Pakistan.
Fundamentally speaking, the successful development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor(CPEC) in recent years has ushered in historic development opportunities for Pakistan. Second, as I have often said, the construction of the CPEC, Pakistan's strategic position, Pakistanis’ love for peace and their keen expectation for a better future, have made the world's major investors term Pakistan as a place of huge potential and immense investment value. Third, Pakistan's security situation has improved substantially, as the government issued a series of favorable policies, and the business environment improved significantly. Fourth, China is one of the world's major investors. Its huge investment in Pakistan has played an important leading role and Pakistan is now China's largest investment destination in South Asia.
On top of that, the Government of Pakistan and all walks of life are well aware of the importance of improving the investment environment. I sincerely hope that Pakistan's political parties, federal and local governments at all levels, all sectors of society, and the people of the whole country stand together and focus on the social and economic development of the country, so as to quickly change the status of poverty and backwardness, and get Pakistan on the track of fast development.
We talk a lot about Reform and Opening-up in China, and there is another saying, which is, Reform and Opening-up will always be on the way. I think the improvement of the investment environment is also a continuous process and there is no end. Anything that is not conducive to the investment of domestic and foreign capital should be changed and obstacles should be cleared away. Frankly speaking, if anyone asks me about the biggest problem for Pakistan's investment environment, I would say it might be the political stability, which now worries foreign investors most.
Therefore, in order to attract more and more domestic and foreign capital to invest in Pakistan, the stability of the political situation and the government, and the continuity of policies should be well maintained. There should be judicial guarantee for the continuity of policies, so the investment policy will not be affected by the change of government.
Cheng Xizhong, Special Commentator of China Economic Net, Visiting Professor at Southwest University of Political Science and Law, Senior Fellow of the Charhar Institute, former Chinese Defense Attache in South Asia, former UN Senior Military Observer
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Pakistani business environment improving under CPEC | 2020-01-13 16:14
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