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Joint ventures under CPEC needed to increase industrial base: Dawood

KARACHI: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile Industry, Production and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said on Saturday that under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the country would now prefer to enter into joint ventures (JVs) with Chinese companies to increase industrial base.

“We are in talks with China to shift the focus from power plants and road networks and move into JVs which are badly needed to increase the industrial base in Pakistan and lead to job creation,” he said while addressing the business community of Karachi at an event hosted by the Rice Exporters Association of Pakistan (Reap) former chairman Abdul Rahim Janoo.

There is an urgent need for entering into JVs with Chinese companies which could help in transfer of technology and also improve our agriculture production which was badly suffering from low productivity, he said.

Responding to a number of issues raised by Reap Chairman Safdar Mekrai, the adviser stressed that by entering into JVs with Chinese companies many issues related to low farm productivity and high costs could be tackled by introducing technologies at different levels.

Mr Dawood regretted that almost all major crops including wheat and cotton in the country are facing similar issues as highlighted by Pakistan Agriculture Coalition’s Dr Arif Nadeem in his presentation on rice.

There is an urgent need to work on backward integration in all major corps if higher productivity and low cost is to be achieved, he said. He hoped that once these issues were resolved, the target set by Reap for enhancing rice exports from current level of little over $2 billion to $5bn in five years could be easily achieved.

The adviser said he would try to immediately include rice sector (which is second largest exporter after textiles) as a new member among five export-oriented sectors.

“I am confident that rice exporters are committed to ensuring and securing interest of all the stakeholders and also have the vision to increase rice production and achieve $5bn exports within five years,” he added.

Mr Dawood said that during his recent visit to Japan, the businessmen there showed keen desire to help Pakistan improve rice farming by introducing technology for improving quality and securing higher rice production.

He further urged the Reap chairman to participate in the forthcoming ‘Biyani Festival’ being organised in Jonesburg, South Africa.

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