ISLAMABAD (News Desk): China has yet again proven to be true friend of Pakistan. In wake of current outbreak of COVID-19, China has provided emergency assistance to Pakistan for prevention and control, including 12,000 test kits, 300,000 masks, 10,000 protective suits and 4 million U.S. dollars to build hospitals. Earlier during the peak of outbreak of COVID-19 in China, Pakistan extended its full support to China and a solidarity resolution was also passed in Senate of Pakistan. President Dr Arif Alvi is scheduled to pay a two-day (March 16-17, 2020) visit to China starting on Monday, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. A delegation including Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Asad Umar and senior officials will accompany the president who would meet with his Chinese counterpart and other Chinese leaders. During the visit, a number of MoUs are expected to be signed to enhance the bilateral cooperation in multiple spheres. This will be the president’s first visit to China, which is singularly aimed at conveying strong support and solidarity of Pakistan towards the Government and the people of China while Beijing was resolutely engaged in efforts to contain and deal with the spread of Covid-19. The visit will play an important role in further solidifying the historic bonds of trust and mutual support between the two “iron brothers”. It will also serve as an opportunity for the leadership of the two countries to review bilateral, regional and international issues and to advance the shared goals of promoting peace, prosperity and development in the region and beyond. Special economic zones (SEZs) could help Pakistan enhance its exports to around $1-1.5 billion annually in the short run by ensuring effective planning, said an industry official on Sunday. “Investors from China, Turkey, Korea and Britain have pumped $1.10 billion into Special economic zones (SEZs) and they are bringing in more investors from their countries to invest in Pakistan,” stated Mian Kashif Ashfaq, chairman of the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC). He said these investors expressed their eagerness to explore the possibility of investment in diverse sectors of Pakistan, especially ceramics, chemicals, steel, food processing and automobiles. He stated that the Faisalabad Industrial Estate Development and Management Company (FIEDMC), which was a successful example of public-private partnership and first-ever state of the art Special economic zones (SEZs), would ultimately prove to be an economic engine of the country through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) initiatives. Appreciating the economic vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan, he said the premier had directed the departments concerned to remove hurdles in the way of development of Special economic zones (SEZs) and establish them on a priority basis. Fortunately, he said, almost hundred per cent plots in M-3 Industrial Estate had already been sold out while hundreds of units had become operational and were playing their role in providing exportable surplus in addition to employing thousands of workers. Mian Kashif said the M-3 industrial city would house more than 400 people and units of textile, steel, pharmaceuticals, engineering, chemicals, food processing, plastic and agriculture appliances would provide jobs to nearly 250,000 workers. He claimed that Faisalabad was expecting to attract Rs400bn local and foreign direct investments. “Faisalabad is strategically located in the heart of Pakistan and is flanked by two motorways passing from its eastern and western sides. This city has the unique privilege of contributing 60 per cent to textile exports and 45pc to total exports of the country,” he added. “Faisalabad is not only known for its iconic textile industries but also brimming with hundreds of small and medium enterprises manufacturing chemicals, steel and food processing products,” he said. “A good sign is several Chinese industries have started investing in Special economic zones (SEZs) in Pakistan perhaps because the production cost in China has increased and the country is probably benefiting from the ongoing US-China trade war,” he added.