HUB:Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said clean governance and business-friendly policies enforced by the incumbent government were attracting giant firms from across the world to invest in multiple sectors of Pakistan.
Addressing the inauguration ceremony of 1320 megawatt China Hub Power Generation Power Plant here, he said the red tape used to impede the foreign investment in the past; however the current government was making dedicated efforts to bring ease of doing business.
The ceremony was also attended by Federal Minister for Water Resources Faisal Vawda, Balochistan Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan, Chinese Ambassador in Pakistan Yao Jing and senior officials of the Chinese contractor firm.
He said the inauguration of the power project was pleasing for it being the first one having been executed in partnership between Pakistani and Chinese firms.
He said his government desired to see such joint projects in future too and asked the local small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to collaborate with the Chinese firms interested to invest in Pakistan. He also assured that the government would fully assist and facilitate such an engagement.
Congratulating the firms for successfully executing the project, the prime minister suggested them to utilize at least 20 percent coal from Thar Coal to save the foreign reserves to help address a major issue of current account deficit confronting the national economy.
He said the government had inherited a record current account deficit, which had put the local currency under pressure causing inflation and other allied economic challenges.
The prime minister told the gathering that the government desired to promote power generation through indigenous resources as the country was rich in hydro power potential of around 50,000 MW.
He said huge resources of gas and coal also remained untapped, which otherwise could have saved huge foreign reserves currently used to import oil to fuel the power plants.
The prime minister also asked the contractor firm to expedite work on the desalination plant in Karachi to address the serious issue of drinking water in the city.
Referring to the immense potential of mining and investment in Balochistan, he asked the Balochistan chief minister to develop special economic zones in Lasbella to facilitate the Chinese firms desiring to relocate to Pakistan.
He said the foreign firm, which had won the litigation against Pakistan in Reko Diq case imposing $6 billion fine on the country, had again shown interest in the project.
He said the company was in negotiation with Pakistan as during his interaction with him in the United States, the company chief had told him that Pakistan had the biggest quality gold reserves. The company was interested to resume working on the project owing to the transparent policies of the government, he added.
He said Pakistan had been deprived of billions of dollars due to corruption. Not only that firm, many other companies too, including an Australian mining giant, were also interested to invest in Pakistan.
He reiterated that investment could not be attracted until the country was purged of corruption.
The prime minister said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a golden opportunity for Pakistan. Previously, CPEC had been limited to roads and power projects; however now it was being expanded to fisheries and agriculture too to enhance the productivity.
He said China was establishing skill training centers in Pakistan to train the young population of Pakistan, which could propel the national economy.
Earlier, addressing the ceremony, Chief Minister Jam Kamal Khan said Lasbella was a unique district with huge reserves of marbles and investment opportunities.
He said Balochistan was open to the people to invest as the incumbent government was taking immense interest to attract the investment. It was the only province, which would give boost to the economic frontiers of Pakistan in future, he added.
He said Balochistan had best places for production of renewable energy and asked the Chinese firms to exploit the potential.