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Pakistan and China sign agreement to promote industrial cooperation

On June 1, 2024, State Bank of Pakistan and China-Pakistan International Silk Road Industry Investment Management Company Limited signed an agreement to promote industrial cooperation and establish special economic zones at the Pakistan Embassy in Beijing.

The aim of this agreement is to facilitate investments in key projects and strengthen the economic partnership between the two nations. With over $65 billion already invested in energy and infrastructure projects in Pakistan under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Beijing is considered one of Islamabad’s most reliable foreign partners.

The agreement was signed in the presence of Aslam Chaudhry, Pakistan’s Minister of Economic Affairs. Chaudhry stressed that special economic zones will be established across Pakistan, providing opportunities for Chinese companies to relocate their industries and benefit from Pakistan’s preferential trade agreements.

He stressed that Pakistan itself, with a population of over 225 million, is a significant market for Chinese companies. Chaudhry encouraged Chinese entrepreneurs to set up industrial facilities in Pakistan, noting that the MoU would facilitate Chinese investments in various projects and promote industrial cooperation between the two countries.

This development comes as Pakistan seeks foreign investment to address its macroeconomic challenges. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed his intention to forge mutually beneficial economic partnerships and reduce dependence on foreign aid.

Efforts to attract foreign investment have been underway since last year with the establishment of the Special Investment Facilitation Center (SIFC), which aims to attract investments in key sectors such as tourism, agriculture and minerals.

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