Chinese investors have not yet shown any interest in acquiring plots in industrial areas of Karachi like SITE (Sindh Industrial & Trading Estate).
Chinese are generally investing in auto sector, but do not appear keen on setting up other plants. Market watchers consider cost of plots as a factor discouraging Chinese investment in Karachi.
In auto sector, Chinese deal specially in light commercial vehicles, cars and vans. Five Chinese auto companies jointly with local partners have applied for investment in setting up plants in Pakistan – 3 in Lahore and 2 in Karachi.
Mashood Ali Khan, Chairman Pakistan Association of Automotive Parts and Accessories Association (PAAPAA), said his members are entering into joint ventures with Chinese. They are entering bike parts manufacturing without involving Pakistani partners, which is alarming. About this we have informed the government, he added.
We will be happy, to see Chinese make us 10-20 % partners as it will create jobs, he added.
Asad Nisar, Chairman SITE Association said Chinese are procuring cheap land which is not available in SITE where prices hover between Rs150 million to 200 million per acre.
Chinese are interested in trading goods like tyres, consumer goods and plastic items instead of setting up factories, he said. And added, they look towards Port Qasim Industrial Area where land price is comparatively lower than SITE and Korangi Industrial Area.
In SITE, some Chinese investors have been present for several decades. Their supervisory staffs and petty contractors are visible in KII and KIII projects, he added.
Masood Nagi, Chairman Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI) confirmed that Chinese have kept out of KATI where land prices range between Rs200m-Rs300m per acre.
Chinese are installing waste treatment plants, RO plants, sewerage system, water desalination and some other mechanical and engineering works, he said.
Jawed Bilwani, Chairman Pakistan Apparel Forum said, No Chinese company has contacted us for any deal. I do not see any China-Pakistan joint venture in apparel sector as Chinese garments are cheaper, he added.
Jawed Suleman, Chairman FB Area Association of Trade and Industry said, `So far not a single Chinese company has shown interest in our area despite two meetings with Chinese Consul General.
Akhtar Ismail, Chairman North Karachi Association of Trade & Industry also has similar views.