Fitch: Pakistan Construction Industry to Grow 8.9% Yearly Over Next 5 Years

Fitch Solutions, a global company focused on credit, economic, and political research, says in its latest report that the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) will drive Pakistan's construction industry in the next decade, as the risks associated with CPEC projects recede. Fitch forecasts that the real annual growth rate of Pakistan's construction industry will average 8.9% over the next 5 years. "We will adjust our forecasts to account for possible positive ripple effects across the economy, including the construction industry, in the event an IMF bailout is secured", the report adds.





Fitch Solutions' report titled "Industry Trend Analysis - CPEC to Remain a Primary Driver of Pakistan's Construction Industry" says: "We expect debt concerns surrounding CPEC projects to ease after financial details are released. In addition, we believe political risks associated with CPEC projects have diminished since the 2018 Pakistani general election. These factors will reduce overall risk profile of CPEC projects."

The Fitch report acknowledges the completion of eleven CPEC projects termed "early harvest". It says that despite major media and political scrutiny regarding CPEC, this progress on projects highlights Beijing’s improving track record in project execution and its commitment to infrastructure development in Pakistan. As a result of CPEC progress, a total of 3,240MW of capacity has been added to the country’s national grid, constituting over 11% of total installed capacity in Pakistan. Also highlighted in the report is the 392 kilometer Multan to Sukkur section of the Peshawar-Karachi motorway, a key CPEC project which is over 80% complete and is slated to finish by August this year.

Fitch believes political risks associated with CPEC projects have diminished. "Previously, we noted that the transition in power from Pakistan Muslim League (Nawaz) to Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) posed a downside risk to the Pakistani construction industry as new Prime Minister Imran Khan pledged to review Chinese-backed projects, which could potentially have led to project delays and cancellations. However, the political situation in Pakistan has since stabilized and Prime Minister Imran Khan has demonstrated willingness to cooperate with China on multiple issues including CPEC. As such, we are in the view that downside risks stemming from political uncertainty are diminishing, and bilateral projects spearheaded by CPEC, will receive a boost in terms of policy implementation and project continuity," maintained the report.

In another recent report, Fitch's competitor Moody's has acknowledged that rermittances from Pakistan diaspora rose by 10% year on year to $10.71 billion in the first half of fiscal 2019, while goods imports slowed sharply to around 3% year on year as non-energy imports contracted.

Moody's expects "the current-account deficit to narrow to 4.7% of GDP in fiscal 2019 and to 4.2% in fiscal 2020 from 6.1% in fiscal 2018, it will remain sizable and wider than in 2013-16, driving Pakistan’s external financing needs. The government has secured $12 billion in financing from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates – in each case amounting to $6 billion and divided equally between deposits and deferred oil payments – which is likely to largely cover the country’s net financing needs for fiscal 2019".

Construction industry is a major driver of economies. The sector creates new jobs, builds housing and infrastructure, drives economic growth, and provides solutions to address social, climate and energy challenges, according to the World Economic Forum. The construction industry has important linkages with other sectors such as cement, steel, energy, furniture, household appliances, etc.  The construction industry's impact on GDP and economic development goes well beyond the direct contribution of construction activities.

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Comments

Riaz Haq said…
For the critics of CPEC projcts' hiring practices, here's a Washington Post story of what Chinese workers have done in India:

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/10/23/AR2010102303956.html


Clad in blue overalls, 1,600 Chinese supervisors, technicians and other laborers work at the 2,000-acre site. The $1.7 billion factory, which also relies on Chinese technology, employs 5,000 Indian workers.

Skilled Chinese workers are helping India expand its infrastructure at a frenetic pace, even as the two Asian giants compete for economic dominance.

Their presence in a nation of more than a billion people with staggering unemployment may appear incongruent. But the government says Indian workers lack the technical skilled needed to transform the country into a 21st-century economic powerhouse.

Until the gap is bridged, companies are relying on the expertise of Chinese workers to build mega infrastructure projects. Chinese workers have worked on ports, highways, power and steel plants in India. Chinese equipment and expertise have also been used in a crude oil refinery, a cable-supported bridge, the telecommunication networks and even the glass facade of the new airport terminal in New Delhi.

"India may be an IT superpower and producing thousands of doctors, lawyers and MBAs every year. But the biggest gap is in the availability of skilled electricians, carpenters, welders, mechanics and masons who can build mega infrastructure projects," said Raghav Gupta, president at Technopak, a consultancy that released a report on skill development last year. "Most of these workers have to be trained on the job. And that often delays the projects and makes it more expensive."

As the center of economic gravity shifts from the Atlantic to the Indian Ocean, analysts say, the world's two fastest growing economies will transfer even more technology and skills.

Fears of displacement

The Chinese workers in labor-surplus India prompted an outcry last year, and India clamped down by making visa rules stricter. About 25,000 workers had to leave dozens of projects midway and return to China because they were on business visas and not worker visas. Construction at 14 power plants was affected.

"We have no problems if . . . Chinese workers skilled in specialized functions come to India. We just don't want them to displace Indian workers by doing the jobs that Indians can do," said G. K. Pillai, India's home secretary, who said there are a little over 15,000 Chinese laborers in India now.

Diplomatic relations between the two nations, who have fought a war and have lingering territorial disputes, have remained testy. In recent years, Indian officials have expressed concerns about China's close ties with Pakistan, India's arch rival.

------------
The Chinese live in a row of air-conditioned pre-fab rooms and have Chinese cooks. Some say they find the Indian heat unbearable; others complain that the Internet speed is too slow for streaming Chinese movies. Sometimes, they go into the villages for an under-the-tree haircut or for the locally brewed toddy.
Riaz Haq said…
JPMorgan, CLSA vie for $2 billion #Pakistan #power sale of National Power Parks Management Co., state-owned firm that owns and runs #LNG-fired 1,230-megawatt Haveli Bahadur Shah plant and the 1,223-megawatt Balloki plant. #Privatization https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-02-14/jpmorgan-clsa-said-to-vie-for-2-billion-pakistan-power-sale via @technology

JPMorgan Chase & Co., CLSA and Credit Suisse Group AG are among foreign banks pitching for a role on Pakistan’s biggest privatization in over a decade, which could raise around $2 billion, people with knowledge of the matter said.

The government’s sale of two LNG-fired power plants could draw interest from Chinese and Middle Eastern investors, one of the people said, asking not to be identified because the information is private. Pakistan received about 10 bids from groups seeking a financial advisory role and expects to pick banks by the end of March, another person said.




Citigroup Inc. and Standard Chartered Plc made their own separate proposals, while Lazard Ltd. is pitching with Pakistani brokerage Next Capital Ltd., the people said.

Prime Minister Imran Khan is pursuing a divestment that would rank as one of the biggest-ever mergers and acquisitions in Pakistan, as he seeks to bridge a financing gap of more than $12 billion and avoid a balance-of-payments crisis. The nation has secured loans from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates and is close to a loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund.

Privatization Push
Pakistan is selling National Power Parks Management Co., the state-owned firm that owns and runs the 1,230-megawatt Haveli Bahadur Shah plant and the 1,223-megawatt Balloki plant. Both plants started operations in the past two years. The government has said it aims to complete the privatization of the power assets in the financial year ending June 30.


The sale would rank as Pakistan’s largest privatization since 2006, when Emirates Telecommunications Group Co. bought a $2.6 billion stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Co. in the country’s biggest-ever M&A transaction, data compiled by Bloomberg show. The power plant divestment is set to become Pakistan’s largest privatization in the energy sector, according to government figures dating back to 1991.

Pak Brunei Investment Co. is also pitching for a role on the power plant divestments in a group with Zeeruk International Pvt, the people said. BMA Capital Management Ltd. and CPCS Transcom Ltd. have submitted a joint proposal, according to Salman Virani, head of investment banking at BMA Capital.

Habib Bank Ltd. and China International Capital Corp. are partnering with JPMorgan, a representative for Habib Bank said in response to Bloomberg queries. CLSA submitted a joint proposal with Bank Alfalah Ltd. and their local brokerage venture, while Credit Suisse is pitching together with Pakistan’s Elixir Securities Ltd., the people said.

A representative for the Pakistan’s Privatisation Commission said the government has no comment. Representatives for CICC, Citigroup, CLSA, Credit Suisse, JPMorgan, Standard Chartered, Elixir Securities and Next Capital also declined to comment. Representatives for Lazard, Bank Alfalah, Pak Brunei and Zeeruk didn’t immediately respond to queries.
Riaz Haq said…
#China Giving #Pakistan $3.5 Billion in #Loans, #Grants. #Beijing will soon deposit $2.5 billion in the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), raising to $4.5 billion the total amount in commercial loans China has given Pakistan this fiscal year. #CPEC https://www.voanews.com/a/china-giving-billions-to-pakistan-in-loans-grants/4788478.html

Officials say the Chinese government has also promised a grant of $1 billion for education, health, vocational training, drinking water and poverty alleviation projects over the next three years.

Minister for Planning, Development and Reform Makhdum Khusro Bakhtyar said Chinese experts are due to arrive in Islamabad later this month to coordinate socio-economic development under the promised grant.

Pakistan's foreign currency exchange remains under severe pressure, despite receiving around $2 billion from China and $4 billion from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in commercial loan deposits.

SBP reserves stood at $8.2 billion last week, barely enough to cover two months' worth of imports.

China's CPEC

In the last six years, China has made significant financial contributions to direct investment, soft loans and commercial deposits to help its close ally, Pakistan, overcome severe economic challenges.

Under its Belt and Road Initiative, Beijing has invested $19 billion in Pakistan to build and improve road infrastructure and power plants and opened the strategic Arabian Sea port of Gwadar. Beijing has also given Islamabad concessional loans for some projects under what is known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

The cooperation deal has created more than 70,000 jobs for Pakistanis and quickly resolved the country's chronic energy crisis. But investments from China had stopped because all major projects under CPEC will be complete by the end of this year.

Chinese and Pakistani officials say preparations are under way to launch the next phase of CPEC in coming weeks to construct nine special economic zones across Pakistan.

Beijing plans to relocate some of its industries by transferring technology to the new industrial zones to help Islamabad increase its exports to overcome its massive trade deficit and shore up cash reserves.

CPEC has "changed the image of Pakistan" and encouraged other countries to invest in the country, notes veteran opposition Senator Mushahid Hussain, who chairs the foreign affairs committee of the upper house of parliament. He praised China for being the only country to bring unprecedented, massive investments to Pakistan five years ago when other nations were reluctant to do so due to terrorism-related security concerns and political considerations.
Riaz Haq said…
#Malaysian Leader in #Pakistan to Sign $900M #Investment deals in #informationtechnology and #telecom sectors. . #MahathirMohamad will also be the chief guest at the #PakistanDayParade. #technology https://www.voanews.com/a/malaysian-leader-in-pakistan-to-sign-900m-in-investment-deals-/4841609.html

Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad arrived Thursday in Pakistan on an official three-day visit, where his high-powered delegation is expected to finalize investment deals worth nearly $900 million, officials said.

The Malaysian leader will also be the chief guest at the Pakistan Day military parade Saturday, the Foreign Ministry announced.

Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan's adviser on commerce told reporters that business leaders accompanying Mahathir would sign three memorandums of understanding on Friday covering up to $900 million worth of investments in information technology and telecom sectors.

The adviser, Razak Dawood, said the deals with Malaysia would also provide Pakistan a new opening toward membership in the Association of South East Asian Nations. He said Malaysian businessmen had also indicated they would like to invest in other sectors, including energy and textiles, to help Pakistan improve its exports.

Officials said that Malaysia's Proton carmaker signed an agreement late last year with a Pakistani partner to set up an assembly plant in the southern city of Karachi that would be its first facility in South Asia. Khan and his Malaysian counterpart are expected to officiate at a symbolic groundbreaking of the Proton plant Friday.

Looking for investors

Since taking office last August, Khan has approached nations that have warm relations with Pakistan, including China, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Malaysia, to bring investment and financial deposits to help reduce a widening current account deficit and shore up foreign reserves.

Riyadh and Abu Dhabi have deposited or are in the process of depositing $6 billion in loans in recent months. The two countries have also agreed to allow Islamabad to import oil on deferred payments. China is expected to deposit more than $2 billion in the next few days.

Beijing has invested more than $19 billion over the past six years in energy and infrastructure projects under what is known as the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, as part of its global Belt and Road Initiative.

Last month, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman visited Islamabad and signed investment agreements worth $20 billion, including a $10 billion refinery and petrochemicals complex in the southwestern port city of Gwadar.

Pakistani officials say they are also close to securing a deal with the International Monetary Fund for a bailout package reportedly of up to $12 billion.

Riaz Haq said…
#Lahore-Abdul Hakeem (near #Multan) Motorway (4-lane 230 Km M3) opens for general public . #Sukkur-Multan Motorway ( 6-lane 395 Km M5) to be operational by August 2019. #Pakistan #Motorways

https://www.pakwheels.com/blog/lahore-abdul-hakeem-motorway-opens-for-general-public/

The Government of Pakistan has finally opened Lahore-Abdul Hakeem Motorway for the general public from 1st April 2019. It was inaugurated by Governor Punjab, Chaudhry Sarwar on 31st March 2019. This new section of the motorway will reduce travel distance between Multan and Lahore making life easy for the commuters.

Note here that the total cost of this M3 section is around PKR 149 billion. It’s a six-lane motorway with eight interchanges over 40 bridges, 60 underpasses, three service stations, etc. The assigned speed at the newly opened motorway is 120 Km/h. It is also being termed as model motorway as Intelligent Transport System (ITS) has been installed on this new section.

It will ensure smooth traffic flow on the motorway, moreover, will handle all the emergencies occurring on the motorway. LED screens have been placed throughout the section, additionally, weigh system, and electronic toll collection has been introduced. Cameras have been deployed for monitoring vehicles.

Previous:

The Government of Pakistan has decided to open Abdul Hakeem-Lahore Motorway (M3) on 31-3-2019.

According to the details, the total length of the motorway is 230 kilometers which will cut down your commute time by two hours from Abdul Hakeem to Lahore and vice versa. PakWheels contacted an official of Motorway, and he confirmed that the Lahore-Abdul Hakeem motorway section would open for vehicles on 31 March 2019. Previously, it was scheduled to open in January; however, due to unknown reasons, it was delayed.

This project was started back in 2015 and was officially inaugurated by previous Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi in 2018. According to a security analyst, this particular project is significant keeping in view the objectives of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Read Also: 12 Driving tips to keep you safe on the motorway during fog

Moreover, an official of the National Highway Authority (NHA) while speaking to the local media said that with the completion of over 70 percent of the total work, Sukkur-Multan Motorway (M5) would get operational by August 2019. This 392 km long project started back in August 2016. When completed, this project will be a huge step towards developing a stronger Pakistani economy keeping in line with CPEC goals.
Riaz Haq said…
Second CPEC phase to boost industrial cooperation

https://tribune.com.pk/story/2022908/2-second-cpec-phase-boost-industrial-cooperation/

The second phase of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) is very important for Pakistan as it will give a boost to industrial cooperation and give birth to Special Economic Zones (SEZs), remarked Sichuan University Deputy Dean International Studies Professor Dr Song Zhihui.

Speaking at the ICCI, Song stressed that the setting up of SEZs would in turn create new opportunities for entrepreneurs of both countries for forming joint ventures and investing in areas of interest.

“The first phase of CPEC focused on energy and infrastructure development in Pakistan while the second phase will focus on industrial cooperation, which will yield beneficial results for the economy of Pakistan,” he said.

“Several companies of China are interested in investing and setting up factories in Pakistan because it is the best place for them.” He expressed the desire to organise a tourism promotion conference for Pakistan in a bid to highlight its tourism potential.

Song added that China was eager to enhance imports from Pakistan, which would uplift Pakistan’s exports. He urged the ICCI to cooperate in connecting right partners with Chinese counterparts in SEZs and other areas.

Speaking to the delegation, ICCI President Ahmed Hassan Moughal said the establishment of SEZs in Pakistan under CPEC would kick off a new phase of business opportunities in the country.

He asked Chinese companies to enter Pakistan with technology transfer for joint ventures and investment.

“Due to the growing population and emerging market, many sectors of Pakistan’s economy offer immense potential for investment and Chinese companies should benefit from these emerging opportunities,” he said.


Riaz Haq said…
China’s CPEC Is Leading To Hot Real Estate In Pakistan’s Special Economic Zones

https://www.valuewalk.com/2019/07/pakistan-special-economic-zones/

According to Beijing, the provision of such extraordinary facilities aim to provide these countries; including Kazakhstan, Ethiopia, Armenia, Siri Lanka, Jamaica, Nigeria, Sudan, Malaysia, and Pakistan (which occupies the center stage for CPEC’s execution), with a coherent and productive real estate, energy, agricultural, and business infrastructure.

With massive infrastructural developments underway, the economic corridor project has already supplemented real estate demand in Pakistan. And investors in the country foresee a continual expansion of road and rail network, development of special economic zones, as well as power projects under the CPEC umbrella.

Similarly, real estate agents have become more optimistic about the speculative value of land in Gwadar and other parts of the country. Moreover, numerous local property portals have recorded an increase in property demand across the country in recent years – a trend which serves to highlight the positive impact of the CPEC initiative on Pakistan’s property market.

Facilitating the creation of an efficient infrastructure

Both the countries have pledged to pursue multiple energy and infrastructure projects on a joint venture basis. To help solve the energy crisis in Pakistan, China is working on 21 power plants and hydropower projects, some of which include:

1,320MW fuel power plant in Rahim Yar Khan, Punjab
1,320MW coal-fired power plant in Hub, Balochistan
2x660MW coal-fired power plant in Sahiwal, Punjab
2x660MW coal-fired power plant at Port Qasim in Karachi, Sindh
Kohala Hydel Project in Kohala, Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Suki Kinari Hydropower Station in Naran, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Moreover, China is becoming increasingly involved in the construction of a state-of-the-art network of roads in Pakistan to facilitate the good transport activities. Many of these projects were recently completed and inaugurated, including:

Karakoram Highway Phase II
Peshawar-Karachi Motorway
Expansion and restoration of Pakistan Railways’ Mainline-1
Upgradation of Dera Ismail Khan–Zhob Road
Quetta Mass Transit
Greater Peshawar Region Mass Transit
Karachi Circular Railway
Orange Line Metro Train - Lahore
Similarly, the projects planned exclusively for Gwadar include:

New Gwadar International Airport
Free Zones
Gwadar East-Bay Expressway
Gwadar University
Pak-China Friendship Hospital
Technical and vocational institutes
While the plans on development of special economic zones in the country are also extensive:

Special Economic Zone in Mirpur, Azad Jammu & Kashmir
Marble City in Mohmand, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
Special Economic Zone in Moqpondass, Gilgit-Baltistan
ICT Model Industrial Zone, Islamabad
Allama Iqbal Industrial City in Faisalabad, Punjab
China Special Economic Zone in Dhabeji, Sindh
Rashakai Economic Zone in Nowshera, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
By providing an efficient infrastructure, China aims to create an enabling environment for global trade connectivity. But, these ambitious plans have also invited scepticism from several countries, with the US particularly critical of Beijing’s ‘debt diplomacy’.

As per a BBC report, China has repeatedly tried to address the concerns and criticism surrounding its OBOR project; saying that the sweeping infrastructure initiative doesn’t contain an agenda for geostrategic supremacy; rather it focuses on efforts to develop a global community with a shared future for mankind.
Riaz Haq said…
Pakistan's Miracle Motorway - the Multan-Sukkur

http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/a/201908/14/WS5d53d0ada310cf3e35565c24.html

On the banks of the Chenab River sits Pakistan's 7th largest city, Multan. The air on July 24 was as humid as any other summer day, only this time, the residents awoke to an unprecedented level of activity. The major cultural and economic center of southern Punjab was now connected to surrounding regions by the Motorway 5.

Inaugurated on May 6, 2016, the M5 mega project was developed as part of a pilot project for the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), under the framework of China's Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) with a total investment of around $2.89 billion.

The strategically-placed six-lane M5 starts from Multan and connects Jalalpur, Peerwala, Ahmed Pur East, Rahimyar Khan, Sadiqabad, Ubaro, Pano Aqil and finishes at Sukkur. The 392-kilometer M5 Sukkur-Multan Motorway is a part of the country's Peshawar-Karachi Motorway. It is designed for speeds of up to 120 km. The motorway has 12 service areas, 10 rest areas, 11 interchanges, 10 flyovers, and 426 underpasses.

The project is particularly significant since it has been constructed to resist flooding with the help of the latest technology and methods, including the Intelligent Traffic System. It is equipped with FM broadcasting, 360-degree angle monitoring, WIFI in service areas and ample night lighting.

Sukkur-Multan Motorway relied on domestically produced materials and goods such as 60 million bricks, 6 million tiles, 1 million tons of cement, 9,200 sets of machines and tools and created more than 29,000 jobs for locals during construction. The M5 also enables residents to improve their standard of living by connecting schools, small bridges, avenues, wells and water channels.

CPEC projects have largely helped Pakistan overcome economic constraints, attracting large funds as Foreign Direct Investment (FDI). The world has begun ranking Pakistan among the top potential economic powers of the future, with a recent World Bank report listing Pakistan among the top 15 emerging economies of the globe.

Federal Minister for Communications Murad Saeed said they appreciate China's contribution towards Pakistan's economic progress in the form of CPEC, which is an attractive reflection of the Pakistan-China strategic partnership.

At an opening ceremony held in Multan, National Highway Authority (NHA) M5 General Manager Muhammad Naseem Arif said the motorway is very impressive in terms of its quality and construction.

Authorities worked closely with the China State Construction Engineering Corporation (CSCEC) and overcame a number of difficulties so that they could complete the large project within three years.

Li Ganchun, chief of the M5 project from the CSCEC, appreciated the security provided by the Pakistani side, saying that the M5 will help Pakistan connect its northern and southern regions, improve the country's transportation and facilitate social economic development in the region along the motorway.

CPEC appears like a miracle for Pakistan's ailing economy. According to Chinese Ambassador to Pakistan Yao Jing, CPEC has generated around 75,000 direct and indirect jobs - but this figure is just the tip of the iceberg. A recent World Bank report has claimed that at the current pace, CPEC will create more than one million jobs in Pakistan by the year 2030.

Since Prime Minister Imran Khan has refocused on establishing vocational training institutes and Special Economic Zones across the country, millions of new high- and low-end jobs are expected to be created due to economic activities generated by the CPEC.

Riaz Haq said…
#Pakistan #cement sales go up by 2.56pc in first quarter of FY 2019-20. In September, total dispatches increased by 11.51 percent to 4.270 million tons. Domestic sales increased to 9.116m tons from 9.063m tons while #exports grew by 12.54pc to 2.017m tons https://nation.com.pk/20-Oct-2019/cement-dispatches-go-up-by-2-56pc-in-first-quarter

Pakistan’s total cement dispatches during first quarter of the fiscal year went up by 2.56 percent to 11.133 million tons. Out of total sales, local dispatches increased to 9.116m tons from 9.063m tons while exports grew by 12.54pc to 2.017m tons from 1.792m in the last fiscal year. In September, total dispatches increased by 11.51 percent to 4.270 million tons compared to the corresponding period last year. During the month, domestic consumption reached 3.472m tons from 3.114 million tons during the same month last year. Exports rose to 0.798 million tons last month as compared to 0.715 million tons in September 2018. Local consumption in the northern region during the month under review swelled by 22.4pc to 3.027m tons from 2.47 million tons in September 2018. The southern region witnessed 30.48pc drop in dispatches to 0.446m tons from 0.64 million tons in September 2018. Industry experts said the lopsided consumption pattern has benefited plants located in the northern region while those operating in the south have entered the red zone in view of over 32 percent drop in uptake during the first quarter of this fiscal year. They said the country has the potential to produce about 60 million tons of cement per year. Recently, a cement company has closed its old plant, which had production capacity of 3,150 tons per day. The government has given tax benefits on the introduction of new technology in cement plants. At present, the interest rate in Pakistan is so high that no one is considering starting a new business.

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