German companies are invited to invest in CPEC SEZs. During his official visit to Berlin on April 12-13, 2021, Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mehmood Qureshi stated that German companies were welcome to Pakistan, and could operate in CPEC SEZs.
Germany is ready to cooperate with Pakistan in many sectors including energy and green industries, but also science and education. For German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, German companies can “tap into immense potential” offered by Pakistan.
For both China and Pakistan, the opening of CPEC to foreign investors has become a priority. Several companies from the Gulf region have already announced major investment operations in Gwadar and the CPEC, but few European companies have been involved in this economic corridor so far. This invitation shows Pakistan’s willingness to open the CPEC and Islamabad’s new regional ambition.
However, more efforts need to be done by Pakistani authorities to attract foreign companies in the CPEC, as it can still be difficult for foreign SMEs to establish partnerships with Pakistani SEZs and investment boards. A single-window approach needs to be developed by Pakistan to effectively answer foreign companies’ demands about the CPEC.
In 2018, Pakistan already invited German companies in the CPEC, but at that time the corridor was not constructed enough to convince European companies. This time, the CPEC and the SEZs are ready to receive invesment from German companies.