Investment ties with UAE
Over a brief span, the UAE has emerged as one of Pakistan’s major economic and trading partners. UAE is making huge investments owing to the increase in oil prices which have led to additional billions of petro-dollars entering the oil producing region.
Pakistan remains a preferred choice for the UAE, as the market is not saturated and offers better economies of scale than the developed economies.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister for Commerce, has been invited by Essa Abdullah Al-basha Al-noaimi, Ambassador of UAE in Pakistan, to join the second round of Annual Investment Meeting (AIM), to be held in Dubai in May.
AIM will highlight financing options and emphasize trading possibilities in emerging markets with a strong focus on high growth sector. It will include an executive leadership conference, country presentation, workshops, site visits, ministerial working roundtable and an exhibition.
The event aims to stimulate international trade and cooperation, strengthen a global commercial bond and provide a new and diverse portfolio of investment opportunities.
Lately, the foreign ministers of UAE and Pakistan have also been engaged in bilateral talks to confirm the continued strong alliance and cooperation between the two countries. Leading the aim to encourage UAE’S investment in Pakistan, Hina Rabbani Khar negotiated over garnering support for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the GCC. Shaikh Abdullah assured Pakistan of the UAE’S full support to the Pakistan-gcc FTA and valued the long and brotherly relations of UAE with Pakistan. The ministers talked about the numerous benefits and opportunities for UAE businesses investing in Pakistan.
Major groups from the UAE have actively participated in Pakistan’s privatization program. These include housing and real estate, telecommunication, banking, mineral exploration, oil and gas, information technology and tourism. Other UAE investments in Pakistan are in the fields of aviation, financial business, hotels and tractors.
Wateen, a subsidiary of Warid Telecom, has marked a milestone in the telecommunication industry by becoming the first to introduce Wi-fi (wireless) internet in Pakistan. In the financial sector, the Abu Dhabi Group has acquired two major commercial banks, Bank Alfalah and United Bank, while other major investments are Dubai Islamic Bank and Emirates Global Islamic Bank. In the insurance sector, there has been investment from Takaful Pakistan. In real estate, Al-ghuran, a Uae-based real estate company, plans to invest Rs. 45 billion. Similarly, there is Al-ghurair Giga’s multi-million Goldcrest DHA Islamabad project.
Emaar has also entered Pakistan to work on multi-purpose projects worth US $2.4 billion in Islamabad and Karachi. Emaar and Pakistan’s Port Qasim Authority are also in the process of undertaking a mega jointventure project to develop an area of 12,000 acres of land into a modern city near Karachi. Lately, Pakistan and the UAE have entered into a landmark agreement envisaging construction of the Khalifa Oil Refinery in Balochistan and renewal of a soft loan of US $265 million for the construction of dams in Pakistan.
There is further need to strengthen investors’ confidence in the sustainability and longevity of ongoing or planned projects to attract foreign investments in Pakistan.