The best offer from China is to relocate its small and medium manufacturing units to Pakistan, but the hinge side of the offer is that we are not prepared for it. Despite close economic and political relations, the two countries are far apart by distance, cultural and language barriers. The long journey of goods transactions is covered by the highest mountains of the world and deep rivers, creating hurdles in access and connectivity to each other. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor has brought the two countries closer, but Pakistan needs funds to develop infrastructure to its side of the borders. Pakistan is also not in a hurry to improve its industrial and labour laws as well as to fulfill the basic requirements of the potential investors. The country also needs to develop or improve its financial procedures to facilitate bank to bank transactions between the two countries. Most of the plans for industrial and export processing zones are on papers which need proactive approach of the government to give them a practical shape. The Chinese investment is knocking the door of the country, and we have to open the door as soon as possible otherwise there are several other contenders in the region which are eager to accept the foreign investment with open arms.
According to experts, Pakistan should improve its infrastructural facilities and prepare ground for the Chinese investment. Pakistan has skilled and cheap labour which can be a matter of attraction for the Chinese investors. Most of the Chinese companies are shifting from small manufacturing to heavy manufacturing sector and labour cost is also getting higher day by day in that country. The small units are a burden on Chinese economy and the entrepreneurs are looking to relocate their manufacturing units to Pakistan. The problem in this country is that there is a lack of coordination and cooperation between the government functionaries and the business community. Rather, there is trust deficit between the two which only breeds more troubles than anything good.
On its part, China has invested heavily in infrastructural projects in the country, but the Pakistani government also needs to resolve some critical issues. Special arrangements should be made to protect Chinese nationals and electricity supply also needs to be improved. Mere lip service will not serve to operate the wheel of industry. The government should also revise customs laws and tariffs specific to the Chinese products.