Musharraf urges Chinese investors to help Pakistan grow

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Beijing, Apr 14 (UNI) Pakistan President Pervez Musharraf today called upon the Chinese investors to contribute maximum to the industrialisation of Pakistan to generate employment opportunities to help curb the menace of extremism and terrorism.

Addressing the Pakistan-China Business Forum here, the President pointed out that Pakistan offers great opportunities for investment in various sectors including joint ventures with a win-win situation for both sides.

''The environment in China and Pakistan is very conducive for creating business opportunities,'' the President said.

The President said Pakistan is a big market with a population of 160 million population.

For the last five years the Pakistan economy has grown at the rate of over seven per cent while the GDP has more than doubled, he said.

President Musharraf told the gathering that more than 600 companies in Pakistan were earning a very high-level of profit.

The geo-strategic location of Pakistan, was also very important as it is located at the cross-road of West Asia, Central Asia, Central China and South Asia, the President stated.

The President said Pakistan is developing its communication system and the construction of Gwadar Port was one of these measures while expansion of Karakorum Highway was in progress.

Pakistan, also offers cheap labour and was working on improving the quality of manpower by establishing engineering universities with the assistance of foreign countries, he said.

''We are equally paying attention towards vocational and skill training for the labour force,'' he said.

He said that during his meetings with the top Chinese leadership he has proposed laying of railway line to connect China with Pakistan and investment in energy sector, while the tow countries were already cooperating in nuclear energy field.

The President said the 21st century was the era of geo-economic and therefore the focus ought to be on the economic, trade, commercial and investment cooperation and joint ventures.

He said Pakistan and China have already signed a Free Trade Agreement and to make it more comprehensive both the countries were in the process of signing such accord in the services sector as well.

The level of bilateral trade now stands at 6.8 billion dollars, but he said that ''we can not rest as we are targeting to raise it to 16 billion dollars by 2011.'' Referring to the establishment of the Pakistan-China Joint Investment Company, the President said it would facilitate business cooperation for the mutual benefit.

''We also have a 5-year Joint Economic and Trade plan and call upon the business sector to avail of all these advantages,'' he stated.

Earlier, Ambassador Salman Bashir said the visit of President Musharraf reflects the great tradition of close friendship and partnership that so happily exists between the two nations.

The Chinese Minister of Commerce Chen Deming said the leadership of the two countries in the 21st century was visionary and have established closer strategic partnership.

He said the cooperative partnership has further promoted the in-depth development of Sino-Pak cooperation.

The minister said during the past five years the Chinese economy has been growing at the rate of over ten per cent per year, while Pakistan for the past few years has witnessed growth rate of seven per cent per year.

''Pakistan has become one of the fastest growing economies in the world,'' he said.

He said with the strong support of the leadership of the two countries as well as the business community the China-Pakistan trade and economic cooperation has been surging continuously.

UNI XC PD BD2020

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