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Pakistan seeks Italian investment

Assuring foreign businessmen that Pakistan is a safe country for investment, Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Muhammad Zubair has said terrorism and security were indeed the issues afflicting the country, but the government is taking all measures to restore peace.

In this regard, he cited the prime minister’s initiative to bring peace in Karachi to help boost business activities in the financial hub of the country.

He was speaking here on Wednesday at a briefing organised for a high-level Italian business delegation about lucrative investment opportunities in different fields, particularly in the energy sector.

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Pakistan seeks Italian investment

By APP Published: December 4, 2013

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The BOI arranged business-to-business meetings between the visiting Italian delegation and Pakistani investors to help them explore investment and trade avenues in the two countries. DESIGN: CREATIVE COMMON

ISLAMABAD:

Assuring foreign businessmen that Pakistan is a safe country for investment, Board of Investment (BOI) Chairman Muhammad Zubair has said terrorism and security were indeed the issues afflicting the country, but the government is taking all measures to restore peace.

In this regard, he cited the prime minister’s initiative to bring peace in Karachi to help boost business activities in the financial hub of the country.

He was speaking here on Wednesday at a briefing organised for a high-level Italian business delegation about lucrative investment opportunities in different fields, particularly in the energy sector.

The BOI arranged business-to-business meetings between the visiting Italian delegation and Pakistani investors to help them explore investment and trade avenues in the two countries.

Zubair said serious efforts were under way to restore normality in the disturbed areas, but added a large part of the country was peaceful where investors could come and launch projects.

“Pakistan provides one of the best investment opportunities due to flexible investment policies compared to other regional countries, while the energy sector offers even better choices, as the country is in dire need of electricity,” he said.

Stressing that international companies were taking interest in Pakistan, he cited the example of Yamaha, which had recently installed a plant in Karachi to start production of motorcycles. Some other companies have also signed agreements in other areas.

Speaking on the occasion, Italian Ambassador to Pakistan Adriano Chiodi Cianfarnai underlined the need for promoting trade between the two countries, saying there was potential that needed to be exploited.

He believed that B2B meetings would provide an opportunity to the Italian investors to explore investment opportunities, pointing out that several Italian companies were already working in different fields and Italy’s investment portfolio in Pakistan had reached $200 million.

He highlighted Italy’s expertise in technology and said Rome could cooperate with Pakistan in this field.

BOI Director General Akram Khan gave a detailed presentation, highlighting the geographical importance of Pakistan and its flexible investment policy.

He said all sectors of the economy were open for investment where domestic and foreign investors would be treated without any discrimination.

There were huge opportunities for investment in energy, agriculture, IT and telecommunications, textile and other sectors while Special Economic Zones also offered a good choice to investors, he said.

Oil and Gas Development Company Managing Director M Riaz Khan sought Italian investment in the energy field with assurances of support.

OGDC is the largest exploration company in the country that is working to ease the energy crisis.

A representative of the National Highway Authority (NHA) presented details of three projects – Pak-China economic corridor, Lahore-Karachi Motorway and Muzaffarabad-Mirpur Expressway – and asked investors to explore these projects.

He said feasibility studies would be ready by July next year and investors could take up these projects.

Engineering Development Board representative Adil Shah pressed for investment in relocating a steel plant to Kalabagh besides investment in the auto industry.

Pak Power Park Management Company CEO N A Zuberi underlined the huge potential for investment in the energy sector including hydroelectric power, coal and wind energy.

He said this sector was providing lucrative opportunities as the government had made investment policies flexible.

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