Pakistan woos investors from UAE

Khaleej Times - 25/04/2009

(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Pakistan Government is in talks with Etisalat to offer the UAE telecommunications company a first option on a 50 per cent stake in Pakistan Telecommunication Corporation Limited or PTCL, according to Pakistan's Minister of Investment, Senator Waqar Ahmad Khan.

The minister is visiting the UAE to meet potential investors and highlight business opportunities, and also to gauge public and corporate sentiments regarding Pakistan. The visit include meetings in Sharjah, Dubai and Abu Dhabi with prominent UAE businessmen, as well as government officials.

He outlined the areas such as infrastructure, cooperative farming, low income housing, energy, oil and gas, water, and telecommunication, as the areas Pakistan needs foreign investment the most.

"Despite the current global recession, business in Pakistan is not slowing down," said Khan, "and there are many great investment opportunities in the country right now, with return on investment reaching as high as 30 per cent in some cases, and investments paying for themselves within three years," he said.

"Given the current climate, some people may be worried about investing in Pakistan, but the current government believes in the importance and value of transparency, partly achieved through access for investors to officials, and provincial and federal government representatives. There is also local interaction with government and stakeholders. Right now, there is an opportunity for everybody to benefit with these investments."

"Pakistan has also finalised plans to offer ownership of agricultural lands to investors for farming, and is targeting investors from the UAE and other Gulf countries to help with their own food resources. We are paying particular attention to the areas of cooperative farming and low-income housing, in order to ensure the well-being of the Pakistani people at all levels, particularly in this time of global economic downturn," said Khan.

He added that investors would be able to own and cultivate land in Pakistan, and export 100 per cent of the crop if they so choose, and that great incentives are being introduced to encourage investment in agriculture. The Sharjah-based Emirates Investments Group has already shown interest in investing in real estate, housing and agriculture sectors in Pakistan.
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