The UAE and Saudi Arabia are ready to expand their investment in a wide range of sectors and grow trade with Pakistan. These steps will help raise Pakistan’s economy in various sectors.
High-level talks have been held by the top leadership of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Pakistan to raise trade and investment in the country. Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi was closely involved in these talks.
All the three countries are now drawing up their final plans, high-level sources in Pakistan’s ministries of finance, industries, commerce and the planning commission.
The UAE ambassador to Pakistan, Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salim Al Zaabi, briefed the top business organisation in Pakistan-the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI)- and said the UAE government is keen to boost bilateral trade with Pakistan through exploring opportunities in various economic sectors.
“Both countries have undertaken work on a framework to boost trade and investment and to avoid double taxation,” Al Zaabi said.
He said the FPCCI and Pakistan businessman and entrepreneurs to participate in Expo 2020 in Dubai in which more than 100 countries will participate. Around 1.4 million Pakistani’s reside in the UAE. He said the UAE always supports Pakistan “when it faces crises”.
Zubair Tufai, FPCCI’s former president, said the UAE is among Pakistan’s top five trade partners. Annual bilateral trade volume stands at more than $8 billion. But trade is still below the potential of these two countries.
“We welcome UAE investors to invest in Pakistan where a large number of sectors are open for investment,” Tufail said. The industries range from oil and gas exploration and marketing to textiles, power generation, metals, fruits and vegetables and halal meat. Investors can repatriate their entire investment and profits if they desire to.
“Security and the energy situation have greatly improved in recent months, making Pakistan an ideal and high-profit venue for foreign investors for foreign investors,” he said.
Waheed Ahmad, Vice-president of FPCCI, said Pakistan’s agriculture sector has the potential to cater to the UAE’s food requirements on a big scale. “It is already doing so as far as food, fruits, vegetables and halal meat are concerned,” he said.
Owais Leghari, Minister for power said “We plan to add 10,000 megawatts of power during the current year. It will ensure round the clock electricity supply, which will enable 24-hour operations of industries. Power will also be available to current and future foreign investors who came to Pakistan to establish new industrial units.
Saudi Arabia, UAE keen on investing in Pakistan
The ministerial meeting also decided that Saudi Arabia would set up a training institute in Pakistan to help meet Saudi human resource requirements.
Saudi Arabia-based Pakistanis send home around $6 billion in remittances annually, which is nearly 30% of global remittances worth around $20 billion. But the recent oil price rises have led to a decline in remittances for the last two years, the Ministry of overseas Pakistanis reported last week. The meeting also decided to hold the first single country exhibition of Pakistan in the second half of 2018.
Heads and chief executives of two major UAE companies, including the Abu Dhabi Fund for Development and Etisalat, separately called on President Asif Ali Zardari to express to further invest in different fields in Pakistan.
The President appreciated their interest and assured every possible support of his government to them in setting up and expanding their business in Pakistan.
Abu Dhabi Fund for Development Director General Muhammad Saif Al-Suwaidi after his meeting with Zardari told the Pakistani media that the fund would soon send its high-level delegation to Pakistan to explore new avenues for investment. He said that the fund had already financed various projects in Pakistan and was Keen to further invest in various development projects.