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Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Pak - China Investment Company Limited launched
ISLAMABAD:A ceremony for the launching of Pak China Investment Company was held at Governor House in Lahore.
The ceremony was presided over by the Governor Punjab, H.E. Lt. Gen. Khalid Maqbool while Dr. Salman Shah, Federal Minister for Finance, Economic Affairs, Revenue & Statistics was the Chief Guest. The ceremony was also participated by Mr. Salman Taseer, Federal Minister for Industries, H.E. Ambassador of People Republic of China to Pakistan and senior government officials/dignitaries including, Secretary, Investment Division & BOI, Mr. Mushtaq Malik, Mr. Salman Siddque, Chief Secretary Punjab, Mr. Chen Jianbo Managing Director/CEO PCICL, Syed Iqbal Ashraf, Deputy Managing Director PCICL, , and Mr. Guo Yonghong CEO of China Mobile Pakistan. Private sector also participated in the ceremony.
Mr. Chen apprised the participants about delivery of superior products and services that would be available to Pakistani and Chinese businessmen with the launching of Pak - China Investment Company. He appreciated Pakistan’s efforts and support and highlighted some of the existing Pak-China friendship symbols that exist in the form Karakorum Highway, Gwadar port, HMC, Heavy Electrical Complex, Saindak Copper Mining Complex and the two Chasma Nuclear Power plants.
Syed Iqbal Ashraf, Deputy Managing Director PCICL said that Pak China Investment Company Limited would provide investment banking services with an objective to provide complete financial solutions to specialized areas including Power, engineering, telecom, construction and infrastructure projects, mergers & acquisitions, debt syndications and private equity placements. The initial authorized capital of the PCICL is Rs. 12.14 billion equivalent to US $ 200 million, making it the largest joint venture investment company in Pakistan. PCICL has become operational with an initial paid-up capital of US $ 70 million, to be increased to US $ 200 million by 2009.
Mr. Guo Yonghong CEO of China Mobile Pakistan said they have faced competition in Pakistan which they did not face in China; this is a clear indication of the fact that Pakistan has an extremely competitive economy to invest in and to make huge profits. He further elaborated that Pakistan’s intriguing and improving economic indicators has made it a lucrative destination for foreign investment. With the GDP growth rate over 7%, liberal investment policy in place and with a sound network of industrial zones and economic zones, Chinese entrepreneurs must take advantage of this glowing opportunity and optimize their resources and investment returns by investing in Pakistan.
Dr. Salman Shah, Federal Minister for Finance described the launching of Pak China Investment Company as ""one window" between the Pakistani and Chinese companies. He said that China could become resource base for Pakistani companies and PCICL would provide momentum to growing trust shared between the business communities of the two countries in trade and investment matters. He further pointed out that China is one of the world’s most dynamic economies and is destined to become biggest economy of the world in near future. He added, that Pakistan is very lucky to have an extraordinary and strategic relationship with China in almost every area of business, trade, commerce, politics and economy. He highlighted strengths of Chinese economy in infrastructure development, agriculture and agrofood processing and also mentioned that China is a leading player in all sectors and Pakistan can benefit from China in areas of Textiles, Engineering, Ship building, real estate and automobiles. China has capital and technology and ultimately can become one window economy for Pakistan. He said that present level of bilateral trade between the two countries is over US $ 5 billion and under the recently signed Free Trade Agreement which has come into effect from July 2007, both the countries have decided to increase this volume of trade to US $ 15 Billion by 2012. While discussing economy of Pakistan he said that Pakistan is ranked as 6th largest economy in terms of population, having 52% of the total population under the age of 19 years. This fact also relates to Pakistan being a very dynamic and diversified economy with relatively large consumer market with growing middle class. Despite all security concerns and political developments, FDI in Pakistan from July - Nov 2007 has risen by 16 % to $ 1712.5 million which was $ 1480.2 million in the same period last year.
Governor Punjab while congratulating the management of PCICL said that company marks a great investment opportunity for Chinese and Pakistani business communities. He said that political relationship is also very important in strengthening long term ties and over the years, Pakistan and China share an extremely cordial relationship which is sweeter than honey in true sense. He also said that President Musharaf has introduced modern diplomacy in our relationships with China, thus enabling more human to human relationship. Therefore, for Chinese companies, their decision to come to Pakistan is strategically and economically very sound and viable. He also assured full support in providing security to Chinese companies working in the province of Punjab and referred to it as their prime responsibility. He also requested Pakistan business community to interact more frequently with Chinese companies and seek investment opportunities with China, as this is one country that Pakistan can always bank on. He asked Chinese companies to also look at Faisalabad and explore investment opportunities there.

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