Pakistan - a lucrative investment destination
A“The United Arab Emirates is a strong supporter of Pakistan and has helped it in times of economic crisis and natural disasters. Pakistan is looking forward to strengthening core relations with the UAE.”
- Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Minister of Commerce
t the opening ceremony of the Annual Investment Meeting (AIM) 2012, Amin Fahim was one of the key speakers at the opening ceremony for AIM 2012, which will continue till May 03, at the Dubai International Exhibition and Convention Centre. “pakistan is looking forward to strengthening core relations with the UAE,” he said, adding that trade relations would double in the near future.
The Annual Investment Meeting series was introduced by the late President of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Zayed Bin Sultan Al Nahyan. The second meeting in the series provided an opportunity to create a sustainable platform aimed at fostering cooperation between developing markets and high growth regions and to build conducive synergies between project promoters and investors.
The three-day was held in Dubai from May 1 to 3, 2012, on the theme of “Financing Possibilities in Frontier and Emerging Markets”. The meeting brought together 45 ministers and deputy ministers from emerging market countries and frontier markets, along with project promoters from 60 countries, with the aim to increase bilateral trade and spur foreign direct investments.
During the opening ceremony, the UAE minister for foreign trade, Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi said that in terms of foreign direct investment, the UAE had attracted $60 billion in the last five years, while its investments to foreign nations had exceeded $327 billion. She also said that according to a United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) report, UAE firms were among the most active foreign investors. She said that the UAE had high economic expectations that would be translated into growth strategies soon.
Speaking on “The role of FDI in sustaining the global economy”, Pakistan Commerce Minister Amin Fahim said that Pakistan has very investor-friendly policies and “it invites all sorts of investments with an open heart from all over the world.” He cited the improving relations between Pakistan and India and said his recent talks with his Indian counterpart had helped the two countries realise the level of opportunities existing between the two countries.
“Apart from inviting FDI into our country, we would also like to go to other nations and invest into their economies and to do this we are looking to discuss FDI opportunities with them,” he said. Pakistan has the largest and most vibrant pavilion at the AIM 2012 exhibition along with over 20 other participants representing 10 different sectors.
Foreign Direct Investment or FDI is a driving force in the globalization process, which has become a key factor in a modern world economy where the international investment environment has grown to be economically, technically, politically and legally interrelated. This has brought about a number of challenges, such as maintaining a balance between national and international investment policies. There are currently 5,900 international investment-related treaties in existence.
Countries around the world are pursuing more investments because of their positive role in development in terms of job creation, technology transfer and increased production. The desired benefits of international investments are not obtained automatically, though. They require continuous hard work at all levels and the building of positive relationships between investments and the socioeconomic state of the host country. This requires a new form of investmentdevelopment relationship and an international investment system that can effectively
promote sustainable development for all.
Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) and over 100 UAE dignitaries, ambassadors and CEOs were present at the inaugural session.
On the sidelines, government-togovernment (G2G) meetings were held with Zafer Caglayan, Turkish Minister of Economy, during which Shah invited Turkish companies to share their expertise in solid waste management. Shah assured the Turkish minister that all steps will be taken to enhance existing trade levels and sought cooperation in different areas. He also assured the Turkish minister that the government of Sindh will facilitate Turkish investors in Sindh and address their concerns.
A G2G meeting was also held with Sheikha Lubna Bint Khalid Al Qassimi, UAE’s Foreign Minister of Trade. The Pakistani ministers stressed the need for a strategic thrust to UAE and Pakistan’s economic relations. Further, Shah also held a detailed meeting with the Emirati AlMinhal Group. The investors showed keen interest in the Thar coal project and agreed to conduct a follow-up meeting along with Chinese assistance.
FDI is important for the UAE, as it firstly benefits from bridging the geographical gap between Africa and East Asia and secondly because it aims to prepare the country for the time ‘after the oil’. The UAE has the largest free port in the Middle East. The Jebel Ali Free Port in Dubai has created over 30 free zones for various industry segments. These free zones are in particular dependent on FDI.
Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al Qasimi, UAE Foriegn Minister of Trade, with Makhdoom Amin Fahim, Tariq Puri,
Syed Qaim Ali Shah and others.
Panel during presentation on Pakistan.
Makhdoom Amin Fahim presenting memento to Zafer Caglayan, Turkish Minister of Economy.