Business

Pakistan FDI seen surging, but some Western investors fret over Chinese influence

ISLAMABAD  – Pakistan expects net foreign direct investment (FDI) to jump about 60 percent in 2017/2018, the chairman of Pakistan’s Board of Investment said, but some Western investors appear to be put off by China’s growing influence in the South Asian nation. Chinese companies are building roads, power stations and a deep-water port in Pakistan after Beijing offered more than $50 billion in funding for Pakistani infrastructure as part of China’s vast Belt and Road initiative.Chinese investment has helped spur Pakistan’s economic growth to more than 5 percent, its highest in a decade, while also increasing Beijing’s clout in Pakistan at a time when Islamabad’s relations with the United States, an historic ally, are fraying over Pakistan’s handling of Islamist militants and the conflict in Afghanistan.Naeem Zamindar, a state minister responsible for promoting foreign investment in Pakistan, said some Western investors appeared reticent because of an incorrect perception that Chinese companies would get “exclusive advantages” and concessions that would not allow for an even playing field.“A perception was created that the Chinese are taking over. The fact of the matter is that this is not true,” Zamindar told Reuters in his office in Islamabad.“Pakistan’s government is very clear about it: we want investors of all hues to come in and participate in building this economy – whether American, English or Japanese.”Zamindar said some Chinese companies building power stations had obtained soft loans but that was because the money was provided by Beijing, which made such terms a condition of its financing for projects that were part of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a key leg of the Belt and Road infrastructure network.But for the second phase of CPEC, in which a series of Special Economic Zones (SEZs) will be set up to boost Pakistan’s industries, Chinese companies will not receive preferential treatment, Zamindar added.

SHARE
RELATED POSTS
Tea exports to Pakistan increased by 32% in 2017-18 during Apr to Jan
SBP and FBR Launch Online Payment Option for Taxes and Duties
Karachi sixth cheapest city in the world: report

Leave Your Reply

*