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Pakistan is ideal for investment, PM tells entrepreneurs

Updated Jan 20, 2017 07:49am

DAVOS: Pakistan is on the track of sustainable growth and is “ready to do business with the world”, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said on late Wednesday.

In his address to leading businessmen at a dinner hosted by Abraaj Group on the sidelines of the 47th World Economic Forum (WEF), he said, “Offering attractive investment policies, Pakistan is a destination that no global player can miss. I invite you to take benefit from the economic revival of Pakistan and enjoy the first mover’s advantage.”

Stressing on the need for collaboration and cooperation, he said, “Without peace and stability, development remains an elusive dream.”

He mentioned that Pakistan’s Vision 2025 served as a comprehensive strategy for achieving sustainable growth and mapped the country to join the top 25 economies in the world leading to Upper Middle Income country status by 2025.

He said the economy was targeted to grow over 8 per cent between 2018 and 2025 while maintaining single digit inflation.

The PM told the businessmen there was no minimum requirement for the amount of foreign equity, investment or upper limit on the share of foreign equity allowed except in the airline, banking, agriculture and media sectors and foreign companies were allowed to repatriate 100 per cent profits.

The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan was the fourth largest milk producing country with third largest livestock population in the world.

The recent decision of Dutch leaders to invest $460 million in Pakistan’s food and dairy sector is a testament of our potential, he stressed.

He said the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a key regional initiative for connectivity and shared prosperity of nations.

Investors at the event spoke highly of Pakistan’s successful economic policies.

Managing Partner of Abraaj Group Mustafa al Wadood said his company had invested over $700m in financial, consumer and energy sectors.

Michael Renee of McKinsey and Company praised Pakistan’s stable economic policies and said improved security was now a big attraction for foreign investors.

Citibank Vice President Jay Collins said his bank was proud to be amongst the top banks serving Pakistan’s public and private sector. He said the bank raised $2.5bn worth of strategic transactions for Pakistan and the foreign companies.

Nitin Paranjpe, president of Unilever’s Home Care business, said his company has built a large business base in Pakistan and will continue with its commitment.

Arif Naqvi, CEO of Abraaj Group said Pakistan was a country that was on the move and offered fantastic potential.

Pakistan, Norway to focus on trade

Meeting with Norwegian Prime Minister Erna Solberg on the sidelines of WEF, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif said Pakistan greatly valued its relations with Norway.

He apprised the Norwegian premier of his government’s focus on trade and economic cooperation, rather than aid. The Norwegian premier appreciated Pakistan’s economic revival.

On the occasion, PM Sharif extended an invitation to the Norwegian premier to visit Pakistan.

Incentives for investors

Pakistan has devised a comprehensive plan to create an investment friendly environment and is liberalising its policies to welcome foreign entrepreneurs, PM Sharif said on Thursday.

He was talking to heads of top ranking companies at a roundtable on the sidelines of WEF.

“We offer incentives to attract new capital inflows, including tax exemptions, tariff reductions, infrastructure, and investor facilitation services,” the prime minister said.

The chief executive officers present at the roundtable included Japan Bank for International Cooperation’s CEO and Executive Managing Director Tadashi Maeda, Ingredion Incorporated USA’s CEO and Chairman Ilele Gordon, Koc Holding Turkey’s CEO Levent Cakiroglu,

Telenor Group’s President and CEO Sigve Brekke, Nestle Asia’s Executive Vice President Wan Ling Novartis AG’s Head Public Affairs Petra Lox, Swiss Re Management Ltd’s Global Partnerships Chairman Martyn Parker.

Published in Dawn, January 20th, 2017