China finds Pakistan open for business at first industrial fair

LAHORE: “Chinese companies are considering shifting their industrial units to Pakistan,” said Federal Minister for Commerce and Textile Pervaiz Malik on Saturday.

He was speaking to the media at the inauguration ceremony of the First China Electrical and Mechanical Machinery Exhibition 2017.

He said the Rs180 billion textile package is currently being reviewed by his ministry on the direction of the PM Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. “Actually the package is being reviewed to remove certain issues in it before it could be implemented in true letter and spirit,” he explained. The three-day expo has attracted participation of as many as 200 Chinese businesspersons, representing several industrial units manufacturing electrical, mechanical and other sorts of machinery, including electric automobiles.

“The response of Pakistani manufacturers, distributors and general customers to our products is really amazing”, Marketing Director of the Changzhou Keytech Vehicle Company Limited, Jack Xie said while speaking with Dawn. “So keeping in view the feedback, we are considering to also establish our industrial unit in Pakistan so as to offer our goods to Pakistanis on rates cheaper than China.” His company has showcased various small electric vehicles, motorcycle rickshaws and loaders etc. According to the exhibition organisers — Pakistan China Joint Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCJCCI) and the E-commerce Gateway — the three day event is the first of its kind since it has brought China to Pakistan.

“The idea to bring investment in machinery manufacturing had actually been floated in the Beijing Conference last year in which it was decided to relocate Chinese manufacturing facilities to Pakistan,” Mr Xie added. He said the event has enabled the Chinese companies to find joint venture partners.

Several local companies are also participating in the event.

Large visitor turnover was witnessed at the stalls showcasing electric vehicles, rickshaws, motors, equipment related to power transmission lines and telecom sector. “We manufacture transmission lines (cables) conductors, insulators and towers (for both transmission lines and telecom). And in Pakistan we are seeing good response really,” said Mr Lee, Project Manager of the Shandong Qixing Iron Tower Company Limited. He said his company has plans to establish a factory in Pakistan soon.

According to the organisers’ claim, over 10,000 people, including Chinese and Pakistani top level machinery manufacturers, businessmen, entrepreneurs and investors participated on the first day of the expo.

“As many as 100 stalls have been set up by Chinese manufacturing companies and around 200 persons of the Chinese machinery industry have purposely traveled to Pakistan to explore joint ventures and partnership possibilities with our machinery industry. Many consultancy firms have also set up their stalls at the expo to assist the investors,” explained a spokes­person for the organisers. Agencies