This is apropos a Business Recorder news item “PM makes big CPEC-aided business pitch” carried by the newspaper on Friday. The report says that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has urged the foreign companies to take advantage of the incentives being offered by the government for investment and make investment in Pakistan whose strategic location is gateway to the energy-rich Central Asian states.
According to a gathering of 38 chief executive officers (CEOs) of companies from France, Italy, Canada, the UK, the US and other countries, the prime minister said that under the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) an investment portfolio of over $ 55 billion is being implemented. Of the total, $ 35 billion investment is being made in the energy sector and apart from energy, road and rail infrastructure, industrial parks and economic zones as well as deep seaport at Gwadar give CPEC the potential of changing the destiny of people in the region and beyond.
That the CPEC is a key regional initiative for connectivity is a fact and Pakistan is uniquely positioned to become a hub to connect a population of over 3 billion.
No doubt, it is quite clear that the prime minister has learnt how to pitching to investors in an effective manner. But the prospective investors, it appears, must have been impressed by the PM’s presentation. But the government is still required to ease their legitimate concerns. Energy shortages, ease of doing business and law and order constitute their principal concerns. Only then will foreign investors deem it necessary to make investment in Pakistan, a country which offers one of the highest returns to every foreign investor. Our policymakers must recognise the fact that CPEC has the potential to put the country on the path of industrialization anytime soon.