UAE Firms Invest in Pakistan

UNITED ARAB EMIRATES & PAKISTAN - As part of an investment programme worth US$1.3 billion, UAE is to help finance poultry industry projects in Pakistan.
calendar icon 14 December 2010
clock icon 4 minute read

UAE companies have signed 11 Memoranda of Understandings (MoUs) with Pakistan's Punjab Board of Investment and Trade (PBIT) to invest US$1.3 billion in various projects in the Punjab province, reports Khaleej Times.

The MoUs, which include two Expressions of Interest (EoI), were signed by PBIT Vice-Chairman Rizwan Ullah Khan and executives of the UAE companies, in the presence of Mohammad Shahbaz Sharif, Chief Minister of Punjab, during the one-day Pakistan Business and Investment Conference 2010 held in Dubai.

According to the MoUs, Big Bird Group will invest $27 million in ready-to-eat and ready-to-cook poultry products and Nirala will invest $3 million in slaughterhouse. Other projects include: 10 Star Group will invest $100 million for the establishment of solar thermal and coal-based power plants; Getronics will invest $100 million for enhancing the quality of governance in the province through the use of advanced IT infrastructure; Arif Habib Group will invest $80 million in the real estate sector; BF Biosciences will invest $50 million in vaccine manufacturing facility for foot and mouth disease; EMRAC and Haji Sons Group will invest $3 million in establishing cold storages in various cities of Punjab; Commit will invest $1 million in the dairy sector; while Microsoft will install its Live@edu free hosted, co-branded communication and collaboration services for students, faculty, and alumni at all-boys' schools.

Engro also signed an MoU of EoI in the LNG sector valued at $450 million; Telecom Industry's MoU of EoI for enhancement of infrastructure roll-out was valued at $250 million.

Addressing the conference on agribusiness opportunities, Ian Donald, Managing Director of Nestlé Pakistan, said that the sector offered immense opportunities since commercial or industrial dairy farming does not exist in Pakistan.

He said: "There is a large unmet demand which is increasing. There is a potential to increase the yield and meet the demand."

Mr Donald added that Nestlé, a multinational, was able to easily do business in Pakistan. "Ours is a positive story," he added.

Nadeem Babar, Chairman of Punjab Power Development Board, in a presentation on energy sector, said that Pakistan's shortage of 20 per cent at peak, which was causing a loss of two per cent to the GDP, will grow further.

In Punjab, he said that the load was 10,000 megawatts while the supply was 6,000 megawatts. There were opportunities for mining iron ore in the province, he said.

Mr Babar said that Pakistan offered attractive incentives for the power projects, which were the best in the world, continues the Khaleej Times report. The incentives included exemption from income tax, five percent customs duty and no duty on renewable energy projects, long-term sales contract, fuel price is passed through buyers, 100 per cent ownership, and free repatriation of dividend and equity.

Javed Ghori, Managing Director, Matco Rice Processor, said his company is in advanced talks with UAE companies for joint venture projects in near future.

He explained: "We are investing 1.6 billion rupees in two phases to set up a rice processing plant and storage facilities near Gujranwala," adding that the second phase will be completed next year. Presentations were also made on landscape of Pakistan and on real estate development in Pakistan.

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