Solving Pakistan’s Import Crisis: Utilizing the Belt and Road Initiative and CPEC Route to Bypass Foreign Exchange Shortage

Pakistan is currently facing a major crisis in terms of imports being stuck due to a shortage of foreign exchange. This is causing significant problems for the country’s industries, as they are unable to access the raw materials and goods they need to operate effectively. Many industries are on the verge of closing down as a result of this issue, as they are unable to pay for imports due to the lack of foreign currency.


One possible solution to this problem is for Pakistan to take advantage of the Belt and Road Initiative and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route from Kashgar to import goods from China via the Xinjiang province. This route is already in place and ready to be used, and by importing goods from China and paying in Chinese Yuan, Pakistan would be able to bypass the need for foreign currency.


This is a solution that can be implemented immediately and on an urgent basis, as the infrastructure and logistics are already in place. By utilizing this route and paying in Yuan, Pakistan would be able to access the raw materials and goods it needs to keep its industries running, and it would also be able to address the foreign exchange shortage.

In addition, by using the Chinese Yuan for trade, Pakistan will not only be able to import goods from China but also help to promote greater economic ties between the two countries. It will also help Pakistan to avoid the hassle of obtaining foreign currency, which can be difficult and time-consuming process.


In conclusion, Pakistan’s import is stuck due to low foreign exchange, and industries are on the verge of closing down. President Xi’s Belt and Road initiative and the CPEC route from Kashgar to import goods via Xinjiang province, and pay in Chinese Yuan is a ready solution. This solution can be implemented immediately and will help Pakistan to access the raw materials they need and solve the foreign reserve issue.

Mr. Zhang Baozhong and the Development of Gwadar Port as a Symbol of Pakistan-China Friendship

Mr. Zhang Baozhong, who serves as the chairman of China Overseas Port Holding Company (COPHC), is a well-respected figure in the port and shipping business. He is regarded for his ability to lead, his competence, and his professional demeanour. He has been a shining example of the genuine friendship that exists between Pakistan and China through his work on the building of the Gwadar Port in Pakistan.

In his capacity as chairman of COPHC, Mr. Zhang has been an instrumental figure in the development of the port  in Pakistan.  As a result, Pakistan’s capabilities in the areas of infrastructure and transportation have been significantly enhanced. The port is seen as a gateway to both the Arabian Sea and the Middle East, making it an essential part of the Belt and Road Initiative being carried out by China. The port will not only assist Pakistan in its pursuit of economic development, but it will also provide China the much-requested opportunity to get access to the Arabian Sea, thereby lessening China’s reliance on the Malacca Strait.

The success of the Gwadar Port project can be attributed in large part to Mr. Zhang’s support of and involvement in the project. The governments of Pakistan and China have heaped praise on him for his contributions to the growth of the port, as well as his leadership, expertise, and professional demeanour, all of which have been highly acknowledged by both countries. His efforts have been a witness to the sincerity of the friendship that exists between Pakistan and China, and he is a guy who is both honourable and well regarded. He was an integral part of the team that was responsible for bringing the project to a successful conclusion.

Mr. Zhang’s direction of the construction of the Gwadar Port has served as a model for the development of ports in other nations. Not only has it enhanced Pakistan’s physical infrastructure and transportation capacities, but it has also fostered growth in the economic and commercial links that exist between the two nations. The assistance and participation of Mr. Zhang in the Gwadar Port project will forever be regarded as a significant turning point in the annals of the longstanding friendship between Pakistan and China.

In conclusion, Mr. Zhang Baozhong is a  well-known for his leadership and contributions to the building and operation of ports and terminals throughout the world. His contributions to the Gwadar Port project have been an illuminating illustration of the genuine friendship that exists between Pakistan and China, and his efforts will forever be recognised as a tribute to the robust partnership that exists between the two nations.

Recognition Award bestowed by the Hon. Consul General People’s Republic of China Li Bijian

KARACHI: Honorable his excellency Consul General of the People’s Republic of China in Karachi Li Bijian awarded the certificate recognizing the contribution to promoting China and Pakistan, to Mr . Sami Vohra Founder of CPECB in an Awarding Ceremony held at the Chinese Consulate here Friday.


Mr Sami Vohra mentioned China and Pakistan are two great nations with vibrant cultures and rich traditions. From the Great Wall to the Himalayas, from the bustling streets of Beijing to the Himalayas, China is a land of beauty and diversity. The towering peaks of Karakoram, China, and Pakistan are a sight to behold. A land of endless wonders, With their people and customs, China and Pakistan are a treasure, a place to explore and learn, A world of endless possibilities

Xi in my eyes

Xi in my eyes

Xi in my eyes | To him, there is no self. There is only the people

After nearly half a century, President Xi met with his old schoolmate Sommano Pholsena. Hear what Sommano said about his experience with Xi, and what makes the Communist Party of China successful. Produced by Xinhua Global Service

Xi in my eyes | He represents the Chinese Dream

Xi represents the Chinese Dream, which, according to British scholar Martin Jacques, is about the Chinese people dragging themselves up from poverty, about people living much better lives and about China playing a different role in the world.

Xi in my eyes | Always connected to the Chinese people

In the eyes of Stephen Perry, chairman of Britain's 48 Group Club, President Xi Jinping is "very closely connected" to the Chinese people. "Everything that I have seen ... tells me his motivation is the people of China. That is very important at this stage of China's development," he says.

Xi in my eyes | Xi's vision of global governance full of wisdom

As British sociologist Martin Albrow sees it, the success of the Communist Pa

This is the heading

Inspired by President Xi Jinping's speech at Nazarbayev University on the joint building of a "Silk Road Economic Belt," Kazakh scholar Gulnar Shaimergenova set up the China Studies Center in Kazakhstan to promote China-Kazakhstan cooperation.

Xi in my eyes | In his heart, people are always above all

"I think the common thread in the Xi Jinping thought is the people-centered (approach)," said Raphael Tuju, secretary-general of Kenya's ruling Jubilee Party. "If you look at, for example, the profile of President Xi Jinping, he has a profile of a selfless leader," he said

Xi in my eyes | A wise man, and also a philosopher

President Xi is a wise man, and also a philosopher, said former Egyptian Prime Minister Essam Sharaf. As a member of the Advisory Council of the Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation, Sharaf said the deeper he delves into the Belt and Road Initiative and monitors its growth, the more he learns about President Xi's vision of the world and the future of humankind.

Xi in my eyes | A leader with a broad vision, a heart for the people

"I remember quite clearly that Chinese President Xi Jinping is a tall man with a friendly manner. His remarks on various occasions were not long, but really down-to-earth and sincere," said Chea Monyrith, president of Chinese Cambodian Evolution Researcher Association. Monyrith says Chinese leaders have a long-term and broad vision towards international affairs, something he finds admirable.

In the eyes of Pakistani President Arif Alvi, President Xi is a great leader who always has the people on his mind and never fails them. He says China’s successful control of the epidemic and the accomplishment of the poverty alleviation target highlight the commitment of the Chinese leadership.

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Tariq Gul, Pak Afghan cargo Joint Venture with XCMG


The global construction industry’s equipment and machinery — intends to set up heavy equipment manufacturing plant and assembly line in Pakistan, according to a press release issued by the PM office.

XCMG, with its expertise of constructing high rise buildings and housing units, wants to partner with Prime Minister Khan’s ambitious Naya Pakistan Housing Programme (NPHP) to construct five million affordable houses over a period of five years for low-income segments of society.

The premier said that the construction of the five million houses is a flagship programme of the government which will “open new opportunities for allied industries and the youth of the country”.

He welcomed HSS and XCMG’s “commitment and interest” in the housing and manufacturing sector.

Prime Minister Khan highlighted the steps that have been taken by the government in order to facilitate investors, reduce the cost of doing business and to improve the ease of doing business.

On December 13, while chairing a meeting on ease of doing businesses, the premier issued directives for the preparation of a comprehensive plan to simplify procedures related to government approvals.

“Providing [a] conducive and business-friendly environment to investors is [the] top priority of the government,” he said today.

CPECB | Members at Shanghai | PM Imran Khan | Xi Jinping| Successful Trip


SHANGHAI: Prime Minister Imran Khan Monday said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor would serve as a vital link for the two countries to the Middle East and Central Asian Republics and open fresh investment avenues, new markets and vistas.

Addressing the Opening Ceremony of China International Import Expo at the National Exhibition and Convention Center, Prime Minister Imran Khan said as the Belt and Road Initiative gives shape to a global community of shared interests, this Expo will help spread dividends of freer trade, among more closely integrated economies

We are proud that CPECB member  Tariq Gul from Pak Afghan Cargo also attends the major conference where it was the first and major visit to CHINA of Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan Sb.

BEIJING: Chinese Foreign Ministry on Wednesday said that China will continue to provide assistance and support to Pakistan’s economic and social development in accordance with the needs of the Pakistani side and through mutual agreement.

The ministry announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to China is a success and the two sides made remarkable achievements. They issued a joint statement and gave a comprehensive introduction to the specific results of the visit.

According to the Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying, a number of achievements were made during the visit. First, it has deepened the friendship between the leaders of the two countries. This visit is the first official visit to China after Prime Minister Imran

According to the Ministry’s spokesperson Hua Chunying, a number of achievements were made during the visit. First, it has deepened the friendship between the leaders of the two countries. This visit is the first official visit to China after Prime Minister Imran Khan took office, fully demonstrating Pakistan’s emphasis on developing relations with China.

Chinese leaders such as President Xi Jinping and Premier Li Keqiang had friendly exchanges with him and established good relations. The second is to consolidate the special friendly relations between China and Pakistan.

The two sides believe that China-Pakistan relations have experienced the test of time and environmental changes at home and abroad and are constantly moving forward. The two sides agreed to further strengthen China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership and build a new era to closer the CMB community.

The third is to expand the strategic communication between the two countries. The leaders of the two countries exchanged in-depth views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common concern and reached important consensus.

The two sides also agreed to establish a foreign minister’s strategic dialogue mechanism to plan and coordinate bilateral relations and cooperation in various fields. The fourth is to promote pragmatic cooperation and friendly exchanges.

They also agreed to continue to firmly promote the construction of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and establish a social and livelihood working group to promote the continuous expansion of the corridor.

They also agreed to strengthen cooperation in the fields of economy, trade, finance, science and technology, agriculture, humanities, etc., and signed 15 cooperation agreements in related fields. Fifth, it has strengthened coordination and cooperation in international and regional affairs, and emphasised support for multilateralism, free trade, and win-win cooperation, and promoted lasting peace and common prosperity in the region and the world.

Both China and Pakistan are satisfied with the results of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit and unanimously agreed to continue to work together to implement the consensus reached by the leaders and push China-Pakistan all-weather strategic partnership to a new level.

To a question, the spokesperson further said at the weekly news briefing, “China and Pakistan are all-weather strategic partners, and the relationship between the two countries has been running at a high level”.

Big News Zong 4G internet services launched in Gwadar

ISLAMABAD: Zong 4G network has launched its operations in the port city of Gwadar to cater to the increasing requirements of connectivity under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), a statement said on Thursday.

The company said the launch of 4G services in Gwadar implies that foreign citizens and local residents who have been pursuing their respective business endeavours will have unhindered access to the 4G services.

The services will be offered at affordable rates, it said. “Massive network expansion symbolises our customer-centric approach to ensure that the interests of consumers stay above all the rest by offering them best and affordable network,” Zong 4G said. “We keep expanding our operational portfolio to ensure enhanced operations in cities, towns, villages, and far-flung areas,” it added.

FPCCI irked by talk of relocating TDAP’s head office

KARACHI: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) expressed concern on Thursday over a recent discussion by the Senate Standing Committee on Commerce about shifting of Trade Development Authority of Pakistan’s (TDAP) head office from Karachi to Islamabad.

“Relocation of TDAP’s head office to Islamabad would only serve the purpose of those who do not want to serve in Karachi and want to completely render it dead for the business community in the capital city as there is negligible business activity there,” a statement said on Thursday.

“Karachi is the hub of trade and commercial activities in Pakistan and it is illogical to consider shifting of a trade facilitation organisation anywhere else. The FPCCI strongly opposes any such move to shift this important trade promotion organisation from Karachi,” it added.

Karachi is a port city and the government’s key financial institutions including the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and other important trade related institutions such as Pakistan Customs and Civil Aviation Authority are headquartered in Karachi. In other countries of the world, such institutions are also located in their respective trading hubs.

TDAP – the top body responsible for promoting exports – was established on November 8, 2006 under a Presidential Ordinance within the Ministry of Commerce. It is the successor organisation to the Export Promotion Bureau (EPB) and is mandated to have a holistic view of global trade development rather than only the ‘export promotion’ perspective of its predecessor. 

‘Naptha cracker to be set up in Pakistan in the next 5 years’ Zubair Tufail

Interview with Chairman FPCCI, and Chairman Tufail Chemical Industries Limited

Zubair Tufail is the Chairman of FPCCI and was elected the Chairman of Pakistan Chemicals Manufacturers Association this year. In the industry since 1972, he also is the Chairman of Tufail Chemical Industries Limited and Tufail Group of Companies.

Recently, BR Research got the opportunity to discuss the country’s chemical sector with Mr. Tufail. Following are the edited excerpt.

BR Research: How big is the chemical sector in Pakistan?

Zubair Tufail: The chemical industry is not that big. There are about 7 to 8 major chemical manufacturers and about 40 to 50 medium to small sized chemical manufacturers. My company, Tufail Chemical Industries is a medium sized company that does import substitution. Our turnover is about $100 million. You can gauge the size of the market by that. Hardly 10 percent of the chemicals consumed within Pakistan are manufactured here, 90 percent are being imported.

BRR: What is the volume of imports within Pakistan?

ZT: Our current imports of chemicals, including petrochemicals is about $1.6 billion. And it is likely to go up to $2 billion within two years’ time.

BRR: Why do you expect the chemical imports to rise?

ZT: Many new applications of chemicals are coming up. New automobile industries are coming to Pakistan, such as KIA, Hyundai, and Renault. Every car that is produced requires 40 to 50 kg of polymer. Among other chemicals, the dashboards are made of polyurethane, bumpers are made of polypropylene, fuel tanks are made of resin. All these polymers are branches of petrochemicals.

Other applications include washing machines. The outside and the inside of all washing machines require polymers. By adding additives, these polymers can be made as strong as steel. In Europe, there are many car industries that manufacture the outer front of the car using polymers. We are doing this in Pakistan as well.

BRR: Why is the volume of imports so high? Why are we not manufacturing chemicals within Pakistan?

ZT: One reason is the lack of a naphtha cracker. Another reason is that the size of the market is small. Also, the instability in the country has prevented new investment from coming in.

BRR: How important is the naphtha cracker and are there any plans for its investment? 

ZT:  Most chemicals are downstream from naphtha cracker. There are also mineral based chemicals, but these are not in demand much. I think if the naphtha cracker comes, we have enormous possibilities. One naphtha cracker will set up a lot of downstream industries.

The Chinese are willing to invest for the cracker. There have been talks for its investment, and Pakistani companies are ready to invest too. The plan is that they will set up downstream industries, which will partly supply to Pakistan and the rest will be exported. A naphtha cracker will allow exports of chemicals that are being imported currently. Other than PTA, no chemicals are exported.

BRR: The government says that though the chemical association clamours for the naphtha cracker, it has not made a feasibility report as yet nor done any ground work. What are your views on this?

ZT: The investment required for a naphtha cracker is enormous, about $3-$4 billion. We are working on a feasibility report, but it will take another 3 months to finalise. There are some engineering companies in Saudi Arabia dominated by Pakistani engineers, and there is a Japanese company working on the feasibility report. Ultimately, the chemical association will pay for the feasibility report, but the bulk of the cost will be shared by the major chemical producers.

BRR: By when do you expect Pakistan to have a naphtha cracker?

ZT: It will take 3 to 5 years for the naphtha cracker to be set up in Pakistan. Other than the Chinese, there are also some private companies in GCC countries interested in setting up a naphtha cracker. By mid next year we will know from which country the investment for naphtha cracker is flowing in.

BRR: Where do you expect the naphtha cracker to be set up?

ZT: It will be set up by the sea. Balochistan is the most likely recipient of the naphtha cracker. It will be a Greenfield project away from the major cities. There are two possibilities in Balochistan; one is near Gwadar and the other is near Gadani. We will have to make two berths for it, but that should not pose a problem. It can also be set up in Sindh, near Port Qasim.

BRR: As per the recent SBP report, the chemical sector is declining. Is that true? 

ZT: I don’t think it is declining. I think it is stable at the moment. However, since the textile sector dwindled, it adversely impacted the chemical sector as many chemicals are used by the textile sector. And in the textile sector, unfortunately 145 spinning and weaving factories have closed down. They are closed because of the high cost of production. They cannot compete in the international market if they continue to manufacture at the current rate of energy.

BRR: Which sectors consume the bulk of the chemicals manufactured within Pakistan?

ZT: Well, all the companies involved in dyes and printing chemicals supply to the textile sector. Some chemicals are used by other sectors such as the paper industry and the leather industry.

BRR: You mentioned the auto sector. With more auto companies coming into the market, do you think the chemical sector will receive a boost?

ZT: The auto sector is growing. The current players of the auto sector, Suzuki, Honda, and Toyota are producing at their maximum capacity. The new car import policy is encouraging new players to come in. This is giving scope for expansion. I expect many new chemical companies to come into Pakistan in the next 2 to 3 years.

BRR: Other than the auto sector, what other avenues of growth do you see for the chemical sector?

ZT: We expect new companies to come in from China because chemical factories are being closed there. They have lost their competitiveness as their wages are quiet high. On average, we pay our worker $150; they pay their workers $600. $600 is the minimum salary in their major cities and the East Coast. Their engineers with 5 years of experience get a salary of at least $1000. On the other hand, in Pakistan engineers get $400 – $500.

BRR: Given the various industries within the chemical sector, which industry do you think will get Chinese investment?

ZT: It could be the petrochemical sector. We are in talks with some companies for this purpose. I have visited China and businessmen from China have visited Pakistan to discuss investment in the chemical sector. The potential is there, but we have to hope for political calmness for the possibilities to materialise. Having said that, the Chinese are willing to invest irrespective of the political landscape.

BBR: Is this CPEC related?

ZT: No, it is independent of CPEC. CPEC or no CPEC, those chemical industries will come and set up manufacturing in Pakistan. This should boost our exports to China as well and address the trade imbalance. Pakistan’s bilateral trade deficit with China is a matter of concern for them as well. They would also like the trade gap to decrease.

BRR: Does the chemical industry have a large informal sector?

ZT: There is no informal trade in the chemical sector as far as manufacturing is concerned. While the companies do pay sales tax, a lot of customers refuse to accept invoices for their purchases. This caused a lot of problems, but now the government has provided a provision that for such customers, we can show revenue as sales to unregistered customers and pay extra 2 percent tax, from 17 percent to 19 percent.

Other than that, there is a lot of smuggling from Iran because the border is very porous. The volume of smuggling is in millions of dollars with truckloads of chemical transported illegally. Banking restrictions on Iran has made formal trade difficult; what used to be traded formally is now being smuggled in, chemicals included.

BRR: Why do a lot of companies within the chemical sector complain of foreign competition?

ZT: Smuggling is one aspect of it, the other is dumping. There is also under invoicing by importers. India imposes anti-dumping duty as soon as there is a complaint made by a local manufacturer. Then the exporter has to prove that he is not dumping. Pakistan used to export hydrogen peroxide to India but exports declined after anti-dumping duty was imposed.

In Pakistan, the National Tariff Commission’s working is very slow. They impose anti-dumping duties more than a year after the complaint is made. Till then the company that has made a complaint is operating in losses.

BRR: Does Pakistan have the key factor inputs required for the chemical industry?

ZT: The only thing we are missing is capital; otherwise Pakistan has everything else required for a strong chemical sector, including skilled labour. A large number of Pakistani engineers are working in petrochemicals plants in the Middle Eastern countries.

BRR: What would you recommend as the way forward?

ZT: We cannot depend on the government since the government says that the sector has the resources and does not need support. Even without government support, if a couple of strong Pakistani companies such as Engro meet with foreign companies, they can start joint ventures in Pakistan. My company is too small to participate in a venture as large as a naphtha cracker alone. We need the bigger companies to work together to get a foreign investor to set up a naphtha cracker.

I know a few Chinese companies that have a lot of resources. 25 percent of the financing will come from Chinese companies; the rest will come from the Chinese banks. Among the top 10 banks globally, 5 are Chinese – so they are flushed with money.