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ISLAMABAD, July 5: Belarus has expressed keen desire to explore investment opportunities in Pakistan for assembling and manufacture of heavy vehicles, and for this, it is seeking collaboration with military organisations.

According to the Board of Investment, the Minsk Automobile Plant, a state-run automotive plant manufacturer of Belarus, is already in contact with Pakistan Army for a possible joint collaboration for production of heavy vehicles.

The Minsk plant manufactures heavy-duty trucks, buses, trolley-buses, tractors, semi-trailers for semi-trailer trucks and cranes.

Finding Pakistan an ideal country for investment by virtue of lower cost of production, low taxes and cheap labour, Belarus has shown interest in production of tractors and heavy vehicles and is prepared to set up a plant at the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) being set up by the government.

Moreover, removal of five per cent excise duty and fall in steel prices have massively reduced cost of production of vehicles in Pakistan.

The draft Special Economic Zones (SEZ) Bill 2011 has already been approved by the Senate Standing Committee on Law which is being framed to create cluster of manufacturing investors with effective and efficient infrastructure to compete globally and will offer incentives to investors.

A Belarus delegation headed by Sergey Romanov of the Minsk Automobile Plant, currently visiting Pakistan, met Chairman of Board of Investment Saleem H. Mandviwalla here on Thursday to explore investment opportunities in the field of assembly and manufacturing of heavy vehicles in Pakistan.

The EDB is implementing the Auto Industry Development Programme (AIDP) with the target to increase the GDP contribution of the automotive sector to 5.6 per cent.