Thursday, April 2, 2009

$500m investment expected from UAE

KARACHI: FPCCI Pak-UAE Business Council Chairman Dr Mirza Ikhtiar Baig has said that investments worth $500 million are expected to come from UAE during the current year and a trade delegation from the emirate is also likely to visit Pakistan in November.

A delegation of FPCCI Pak-UAE Business Council comprising 35 members visited the UAE from March 24 to 27. The main purpose of the visit was to attract investment, specifically in the Coastal Refinery Oil Terminal, agriculture, textile city and alternative energy resources, Baig announced while speaking at a press conference on Wednesday. Listing the successful meetings the delegation had conducted, Baig said the National Bank of Dubai SANA Capital had shown interest in investing $200 million in the country whereas Bosicor, a sub-company of UAE’s Abraaj Group, also announced an investment of $10 million in projects of Khalifa Point Hub Coastal Refinery Oil Terminal.

Baig said Dubai Export Development Corporation CEO Saeed Al Awadi had promised to introduce an export insurance scheme in Pakistan under it 90 per cent protection would be provided to companies for their shipment money. Baig said no such export insurance was available in Pakistan and this would be a pioneer move by the UAE-based corporation.

He said an alternative energy company, Bin Din Group, had agreed to invest in the Thar coal project and produce 1,000 megawatts of energy and at the same time would provide employment to 90,000 labourers.

Similarly, another company Mazdar had announced to work on the carbon credit project in the country besides working for a scheme which would provide 15 per cent guaranteed return on alternative energy investments. Baig further said the Sharjah Chamber of Commerce and Industry had allotted a plot of 20,000 yards for the Pakistan Trade and Display Centre in Sharjah for which construction would commence soon under the public-private partnership scheme.

He further said Dubai Investment Bank had announced to open 60 branches in Pakistan. Meanwhile, Emirates Investment Group announced investments in livestock sector for importing 50 thousand superior quality breed cows. He also commented that an Abu Dhabi based company ALDAR had assigned a Pakistani company, Descon to construct the race tracks for the Formula One car race to be held in November this year.

Baig said the cement for the project was being exported from Pakistan whereas 20,000 Pakistani labours were also working on the construction project. He said UAE is the largest investor in Pakistan among Gulf states and during 2004-2008 had invested $3.74 billion. He said about 800,000 Pakistanis are employed in UAE who send remittances to the country to the tune of $1 billion annually.

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