Pakistan wants Tesla plant of its own as Gigafactory opens in China
If Tesla agrees to set up its next factory in Pakistan it will enjoy free land and tax breaks, a Pakistani minister has promised. The invitation came shortly before CEO Elon Musk opened a new plant in neighboring China.
The idea of producing Musk’s electric vehicles in Pakistan was voiced by the country’s Federal Minister for Science and Technology, Fawad Chaudhry. The minister took to Twitter last week in response to the news that Tesla plans to build half a million electric vehicles per year at its next Gigafactory in Germany.
“Dear Elon Musk your next destination may be Pakistan, [where] 68 percent of world population lives within 3.5 hours flight radius from Islamabad,” Chaudhry tweeted on Sunday, tagging the billionaire.
The official said that the government would facilitate the carmaker’s presence in the country, offering such benefits as ten years of zero tax and custom-free import for factory setup, which “no other country may offer.”
While some Twitter users lauded the idea, others mocked Chaudhry in their comments. Some said that few people can afford a Tesla in Pakistan, while others highlighted the lack of security in the country.
The automotive sector is considered one of the fastest growing industries in Pakistan, accounting for four percent of the country’s GDP. Pakistan’s motor industry is currently dominated by the ‘big three’ – Honda, Toyota and Suzuki – with other automakers only accounting for a nine percent share as of 2018.
In a bid to reduce emissions, Islamabad approved the first-ever national Electric Vehicles (EV) policy in November. According to the plan, the country is set to convert 30 percent of its total cars into EVs.
Tesla started delivering its first China-made Model 3 sedans to the general public on Tuesday, when Musk arrived in Shanghai for a special ceremony. During the event, the entrepreneur said the company will design a future Tesla car in China for the global market, in addition to production of the Model 3 and the Model Y.
Earlier this month, Tesla revealed construction plans for its next foreign Gigafactory in Berlin. The carmaker wants to build 500,000 vehicles per year following the factory’s completion in 2021.
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