ISLAMABAD – China and Pakistan have always shown interest in further promoting their bilateral relations for greater economic benefits. The China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is a manifestation of this close economic relationship. The increasing interest of Chinese firms in Pakistan has opened new avenues of closer ties amidst changing global and regional contours. Recently, a delegation from Chinese state-owned company NORINCO showed interest in investing in Pakistan during a visit to the country. While speaking to WealthPK, an official from the Ministry of Commerce said the Chinese giant company NORINCO (China North Industries Corporation) is willing to invest in renewable energy and infrastructure sectors in Pakistan. The official said that the company is particularly interested in investing in solar and wind power projects that will help in overcoming energy crisis. Earlier in May, Chinese company Sinovac expressed interest in setting up a joint venture to diagnose, prevent and treat diseases in Pakistan. A delegation of Sinovac met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in which he was briefed on the vaccine provided by the company to Pakistan. In another development, a leading Chinese textile company has procured 100 acres of land on Lahore-Kasur Road to establish a textile cluster. Describing it as an important initiative, the official said this project envisages an investment of $250 million and is estimated to provide 20,000 job opportunities. Similarly, in February, a consortium of three Chinese companies showed inclination to establish a metal and paper reprocessing park in Gwadar. The official said this Chinese project envisages investment of about $3.5 billion, and the consortium wants to establish the park in a matter of two to three years. Speaking to WealthPK, Dr Zafar Mahmood, a prominent economist, said Chinese companies have been extensively interested in investing in Pakistan, especially after the CPEC initiative. “The rising interest of Chinese public and private companies to invest in Pakistan is destined to uplift Pakistan’s industry and overall economy,” he said. Dr Zafar said that investment by Chinese energy companies in Pakistan will resolve Pakistan’s incessant problem of energy crisis. Pakistan’s non-renewable energy sources accounted for over 70% of power generation in May. This ratio needs to be replaced with renewable energy generating sources such as solar and wind energy. The remaining energy is made up of renewable sources, with a generation of only 90kWh last month. Among the renewable sources, hydroelectric power led the way with 24% of power generation, wind accounted for 5%, while solar power contributed only 1% to the country’s energy needs. This increasing investment interest of Chinese firms is definitely a good omen for Pakistan’s economy.