In­vest­ment ties with UAE

Enterprise - - Snapshot -

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.

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