KARACHI: Foreign investors will be provided all facilities to do business in Pakistan, transfer technology and create job opportunities, said Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday.
Addressing the inaugural ceremony of Chinese automaker JW Forland’s manufacturing plant in Islamabad, he said foreign investment not only created jobs in the country but also brought valuable foreign exchange.
The PM said the country needed dollars to pay external debt and manage its balance of payments. He added the rupee depreciation should not panic anyone as positive economic policies of the government would ease burden of the people.
The PM hailed the joint venture, which brought $900 million in investment, saying the government was focused on encouraging investment, increasing exports, incentivising overseas Pakistanis to send remittances through legal channels and curbing money laundering.
“Earlier, there were assembly plants. This will be the first car manufacturing unit in Pakistan,” he added.
Initially, Khan said, 5,000 Pakistanis would get jobs in the plant, which would eventually increase to 45,000.
Also addressing the ceremony, Chinese Ambassador Yao Jing said China would always be a partner of Pakistan.
Speaking on the occasion, JW SEZ Group CEO Shah Faisal Afridi said, “JW Forland is bringing in $350 million worth of investment to the economy. This will be a huge boost for all the stakeholders and the new government as well. It will also provide confidence to foreign investors who are willing to invest in the Pakistani market.”
Owing to the Auto Development Policy 2016-21, many international auto brands expressed interest to invest in the Pakistani market.
The JW Forland is a joint venture between Changsha Foton Vehicle Technology Co Ltd and JW SEZ Group, which was signed in December 2016.
JW-Forland became the first Pakistani company to have a 50/50 business deal with a leading Chinese company in the auto sector. It is also for the first time that due to this agreement the Chinese technology will be transferred to Pakistan that includes specialised parts like transmission, engine etc.
The joint venture established an assembly plant in just one-and-a-half year after receiving Greenfield status. The plant capacity, in its initial phase, is producing 30,000 units per annum. The initial product line includes cargo trucks and dump trucks ranging from 1 ton to 7.5 tons loading capacity.