Pakistan: Multilateral Investment and Trade Conference 2011 & Expo

Foreign delegates show interest in investment, bilateral trade

By Mohsin Khan Daily Times

KARACHI: There is great potential in Pakistan for investment besides exploration of the natural resources in the country.

The participating members of foreign delegations at the Multilateral Investment and Trade Conference 2011 and Expo Pakistan Opportunities Unlimited moots expressed those sentiments. Pakistan is an emerging growth country with its strategic location, growing consumer market, richness of raw materials and abundance of qualified labour, they said.

The Multilateral Investment and Trade Conference 2011 is a joint effort of the Bilateral Business Forums of Australia, Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Russia, Switzerland and USA in Pakistan. Special delegations and experts from friendly countries also participated in this prolific initiative. Board of Investment (BoI) and Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP) were partners in the moot to boost global business relations between progressive countries.

Tundra Fonder’s CEO Mattias Martinsson of Sweden during his interview revealed Pakistan as a place for long-term investment. He expressed his confidence to invest in sectors including agriculture, energy, food, oil and gas and textile etc. Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Chinese and Egyptian trade delegations at 3 days Multilateral Conference.

Halal raw materials for export were also focused on. KCCI President Mian Abrar Ahmad meeting with foreign delegations highlighted Halal Foods potential. This sector attracted Malaysia to  suggest conducting a seminar on Halal Foods in March 2012. Not only Muslims but non-Muslims countries have shown their interest in importing Halal Foods from Pakistan.

The working groups also discussed Infrastructure and energy, engineering, agriculture and dairy, mines and minerals and pharmaceuticals sectors during the event. The infrastructure and energy remained on top agenda.

State Bank of Pakistan Governor, Yaseen Anwar highlighted capital markets and house-financing sector in comparison with other countries. It is just one percent of Pakistan’s Gross Domestic Product, while 65 percent of United States’, 110 percent of United Kingdom’s and more than 65 percent in many other countries.

Many upcoming projects were highlighted including Track Access Project and Bhambore Dairy Project etc. Mines and minerals keep much potential and significance at their place. In comparing it with Karachi, it was stated Rs 10 million investment in Karachi may create employment opportunities for 50 people but the equal investment in mines and minerals can create employment for 350 people.
Delegations from Japan, United Kingdom, United States of America, Greece, Belgium, South Africa, South Korea, India. Brazil, Poland, Malaysia, Nigeria, Tanzania, Columbia, Serbia, Romania, Egypt and New Zealand visited Expo Centre. They showed interest for bilateral trade and were urged to explore the opportunities in Pakistan.