Pakistan on prowl for $10 bln in Gulf help

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Zawya Dow Jones | May 16, 2009
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Pakistan hopes to attract more than $10 billion of investment from oil-rich Arab Gulf countries this year to help develop the country's infrastructure, a senior government official said Saturday.

"We're confident we can attract more than $10 billion from the Gulf Cooperation Council region," Waqar Ahmed Khan, Pakistan's federal minister for investment, told the news agency Zawya Dow Jones in an interview on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Jordan.

He said that close to $3.4 billion has been invested by the United Arab Emirates in Pakistan during the past few years.

"We need to develop the country's core infrastructure. There are tremendous opportunities in oil and gas, telco and housing," he added.

Khan said Pakistan is offering land on lease for agriculture.

"Investors from Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Bahrain and UAE are interested in agriculture and food in Pakistan," he said.

Pakistan too is in talks with the Qatari government regarding the import of 2 million metric tons of liquified natural gas, or LNG, he said.

"Pakistan needs 7 million metric tons of LNG per year," Khan said. "We hope to get 2 million from Qatar."

Khan said that Pakistan isn't experiencing an economic slowdown despite it being on the prowl for international investment.

"There is no slowdown in the Pakistani economy. Our growth last year was 6.8 percent Our forecast for this year is similar to this," he said.

"Pakistan is a country of 170 million in population. The potential is phenomenal," said Khan.
Original source: Zawya Dow Jones
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