-
Advertorial
-
FOCUS
-
Guide
-
Lifestyle
-
Tech and Vogue
-
TechandScience
-
CHTF Special
-
Nanhan
-
Futian Today
-
Hit Bravo
-
Special Report
-
Junior Journalist Program
-
World Economy
-
Opinion
-
Diversions
-
Hotels
-
Movies
-
People
-
Person of the week
-
Weekend
-
Photo Highlights
-
Currency Focus
-
Kaleidoscope
-
Tech and Science
-
News Picks
-
Yes Teens
-
Fun
-
Budding Writers
-
Campus
-
Glamour
-
News
-
Digital Paper
-
Food drink
-
Majors_Forum
-
Speak Shenzhen
-
Business_Markets
-
Shopping
-
Travel
-
Restaurants
-
Hotels
-
Investment
-
Yearend Review
-
In depth
-
Leisure Highlights
-
Sports
-
World
-
QINGDAO TODAY
-
Entertainment
-
Business
-
Markets
-
Culture
-
China
-
Shenzhen
-
Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> Business
Chinese seek ‘Silk Road’ riches in Pakistan
    2017-August-29  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

ZHANG YANG, a businessman from Chongqing in southwestern China, is searching online forums for fellow stout-hearted entrepreneurs willing to cast aside security concerns and join him on a scouting mission to Pakistan.

Zhang, 48, is one of a growing number of Chinese pioneers sensing an opportunity across the Himalayas in Pakistan, where China has pledged to spend US$57 billion on infrastructure projects as part of its “Belt and Road” initiative.

Numbering in the thousands, this second wave of Chinese arrivals are following in the wake of workers on Belt and Road projects. Some are opening restaurants and language schools, while others are working out what products they could sell to a market of 208 million people, or what goods they could make less expensively in Pakistan to sell around the world.

“A lot of industries are already saturated in China,” said Zhang, who has worked in property, electrical appliances and household goods in China and said he wants to explore the potential for setting up factories or importing Chinese goods.

“Pakistan’s development is behind China, so it will hold better opportunities compared to home.”

But the new arrivals face dangers, creating a headache for Pakistani security officials.

Islamic State’s killing of two Chinese nationals in the restive Baluchistan province in June highlighted the risks posed by Islamist militants, who may see them as soft targets in their war with the state.

Islamabad does not release immigration data but a source in the foreign ministry said about 71,000 Chinese nationals visited in 2016. A senior immigration official added that 27,596 visa extensions were granted to Chinese that year, a 41-percent increase on 2015, suggesting more are staying in the country for longer.

China’s infrastructure splurge has helped revive Pakistan’s sputtering economy, and deepening ties between the two nations have turned Pakistan into a key cog in China’s plan to build a modern-day “Silk Road” of land and sea trade routes linking Asia with Europe and Africa.

While the first phase of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), as the Pakistan leg of this new Silk Road is called, concentrated on infrastructure projects, the second part will focus on setting up special economic zones and integrating Chinese firms into the local economy to help Pakistan develop its industries ranging from mining to agriculture.

China has also surged to become by far the biggest source of foreign direct investment (FDI) for Pakistan, topping US$1 billion in 2016/17, and is betting on its neighbor at a time when many Western companies are still put off by security concerns.

“Pakistan really needs foreign investment and we are not going to miss out on this because of some idiots with a gun,” said Miftah Ismail, a special adviser to Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi. “We won’t let them mess with the Chinese.”

“It’s a big lesson for us,” said Derek Wang, referring to the Baluchistan killings.

Wang, deputy chief executive of Infoshare, an Islamabad-based consultancy assisting Chinese entrepreneurs and businesses, said security was the No. 1 concern of Chinese newcomers.

Visitors arriving at the capitals airport are handed flyers written in Mandarin advertising a Chinese courier service, and in the city shop signs in the Chinese language are increasingly common.

Chinese restaurants are sprouting to cater for new arrivals. Pakistanis are flocking to study at new Chinese language schools.

Chinese businessmen who arrived before CPEC was unveiled in 2014 are capitalizing on their experience to launch consultancies.

A boom in business has prompted Ami Quin, a Chinese restaurateur and owner of a guesthouse for employees of Chinese telecommunications giant ZTE, to open a spa and a second guesthouse.

“More and more people are very interested to come to Pakistan after CPEC,” she said. “They are looking for partners all the time.”

In one of Quin’s restaurants in Islamabad, civil engineer Pan Denghao lamented the Pakistani heat but conceded the money and jobs on offer exceeded what young people like him could expect back home.

“Every year in China you have so many graduates from colleges and universities, but the opportunities and chances for jobs are limited,” said Pan, 25, whose company is building Islamabad’s new airport.

(SD-Agencies)

深圳报业集团版权所有, 未经授权禁止复制; Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.
Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn