Chinese businessman Zhang Yang is now looking at more opportunities in Pakistan for entrepreneurs in his country. He is looking out for partners through online forums that will give access to Chinese entrepreneurs to the 208 million Pakistani market.
After the Belt and Road initiative, this will be the second batch of Chinese people who will be departing to Pakistan in order to cater the Pakistani market. Chinese entrepreneurs are now looking at Pakistan for various business opportunities ranging from opening restaurants, language schools to products that have mass production and export scope.
Zhang says that a lot of industries in China are already saturated and looking for new opportunities in Pakistan. He believes that Pakistan right now has better opportunities as compared to China simply because it is still in the developmental phase. Thus, setting up factories and importing Chinese goods in Pakistan is the scope on which Zhang plans to work.
Visits of Chinese officials have increased also rapidly in the last two years. According to sources, 71,000 Chinese nationals visited Pakistan in 2016 while 27,596 visa extensions were given during the time period. The visa extension was up by 41% as compared to 2015 showing that Chinese nationals are now spending more time in Pakistan as work on CPEC projects has picked up pace.
Increasing Security Concerns?
In the backdrop of recent abduction and killing two Chinese officials, the arrival of Chinese entrepreneurs will be a big challenge for security forces as they won’t be residing in heavily guarded compounds in which Chinese engineers, working on CPEC projects, usually reside.
According to Faisal Rana, head of Special Protection Unit Punjab, Chinese entrepreneurs who are visiting Pakistan usually disperse throughout the country and hence keeping an eye on them is a difficult task.
Majority of these Chinese nationals don’t even inform the authorities of their visits to Pakistan and make themselves prone to terrorist attacks in the absence of any official security measures taken for them. Pakistan, on the other hand, has been taking strict security measures throughout the country and is deploying guards and police officials at Chinese offices and language schools.
But in order to avoid any security concerns, the Chinese nationals should ensure that they share all their travel details with the authorities so that they can be given the required security to avoid any unpleasant situation while travelling throughout Pakistan.