Serious focus urged to utilize Thar coal


Karachi: The Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) on Sunday asked the investors from Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) to focus on Pakistan’s promising processing sector.

Pakistan’s energy sector, especially Thar coal offers great opportunities and matchless returns, said acting President FPCCI Shaukat Ahmed.

Speaking to a delegation of businessmen accompanying visiting Saudi Crown Prince Salman Abdul Aziz Al-Saud, he said that our relations have grown steadily irrespective of governmental changes and we have reason to believe that our ties would follow a new trajectory.

Shaukat Ahmed informed that trade with KSA constitutes nine per cent of our overseas trade while the brotherly country hosts about two million Pakistanis sending billions of dollars as remittances to reduce budget deficit.

Lauding the KSA’s assistance in two major hydel power projects he invited the Saudi investors to invest in different sectors including energy and processing industry.

Despite leading producer of different food items, only 4 to 5 per cent milk, and a fraction of meat, dates and other items are processed, he informed adding that we need to collaborate in engineering, medical equipment, services, training sectors.

Shaukat Ahmed said that bilateral trade has been increasing which hit $4.7 billion mark in 2013 with Pakistan’s share at dismal 488 million dollars.

Pakistan has been exporting textiles, rice, meat, fish, spices, food, vegetables etc, but trade remained heavily tilted towards the brotherly Muslim country, he said.

He also drew attention of Saudi investors to the quality and price of local pharmaceutical, cement and other industries stressing on single country exhibitions and frequent exchange of delegations.

The veteran business leader said that all Pakistani sectors are open to foreign investment except specified industries; we ensure equal treatment to local and foreign investors; 100 per cent foreign equity and full remittance of capital, profit and dividends are allowed, he said.

Speaking on the occasion, Chairman Saudi-Pakistani Business Council and Head of Delegation Mr. Ali Abdullah Ali Al Munajem said that we want to invest heavily in different sectors and facilitate Pakistani investors in KSA. Asking local businessmen to explore Saudi market, he said that Pakistani items are very popular in KSA.

Joint Secretary Ministry of Commerce Fazal Abbas Maken, DG BoI Falak Sher and others said that Pakistan is gateway to China, Afghanistan and Central Asia, it offers around 37 per cent annual return on KSE and a 57 million labour force offers matchless opportunities.

Earlier, Secretary General for Committee for International Trade, Council of Saudi Chambers Engineer Omar A. Bahlaiwa gave a detailed presentation on investment opportunities and future prospects of Saudi Arabia.

Deputy Head of Mission Saudi Embassy Jassim M Al Khalidi, Commercial Attache Pakistan’s Embassy in Riyadh Waseem Hayat Bajwa, VP FPCCI Munawar Mughal, President ICCI Shaban Khalid, former President FPCCI Zafar Bakhtawri, members of Pak-Saudi Joint Chamber of Commerce, officials of commerce ministry and others were also present on the occasion.

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