Pak-China FTA to increase exports by $500mn in first year: Dawood

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LAHORE: Prime Minister’s Advisor for Commerce and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said on Monday that the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with China would be implemented by December 1, and Pakistan’s exports would increase by $500 million in the first year.

He was talking to the media after addressing the trade agreement signing ceremony between Pakistan’s Service Tyre Industries Limited (STIL) and China’s Chaoyang Long March Tyre Company Limited (CLMTCL) here Monday. Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Gilani, Chinese Consul General Long Ding Bin, STIL CEO Arif Saeed and CLMTCL Chairman also addressed the ceremony.

Dawood said that it was a good omen as today, Pakistan and Chinese companies were joining hands for tyre manufacturing in Pakistan, elaborating that Phase-I of the $250 million project would begin with $100 million in SITE area of Sindh for which land had been purchased and design of the plant has also been initiated.

PM’s advisor mentioned that 70 percent of the tyres manufactured under STIL and CLMTCL agreement would be exported and 30 percent would be supplied to the local market.

Dawood said that there had been huge foreign investment in Pakistan, while new investments were also being made, thus creating vast employment opportunities. He said that Chaoyang Long March was a large company and “when its chairman met with me; I told him, you will find huge business opportunities in Pakistan.”

He assured that government, as per its policy, would give status of Special Economic Zone to a new tyre manufacturing unit to be established over 50 acres of land under the STIL and CLMTCL agreement.

Dawood said that PTI government was adhering to a policy that ensured growth of business groups, adding that huge foreign investments were made in textile and other sectors of economy. With the effective measures taken by the government, he said, country’s overall exports volume was increasing. He expressed the hope that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project would be completed in years to come.

On the occasion, BoI Chairman Zubair Gilani congratulated both the companies for joining hands in tyres manufacturing and hoped that this joint venture would not only prove to be a success story but also help encourage other foreign investors to invest in Pakistan.

He said that Board of Investment was playing an active role in ease of doing business and making every possible effort to overcome the problems of industrial sector because industrialization would definitely help generate employment and increase country’s exports.

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