UAE firms to invest $1.3b in Pakistan

DUBAI:UAE companies on Monday signed 11 Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) with Pakistan’s Punjab Board of Investment and Trade, or PBIT, to invest $1.3 billion in various projects in the Punjab province.The MoUs, which include two Expressions of Interest, or 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, 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; Big Bird Group will invest $27 million in ready to eat and ready to cook food products in the poultry sector; Nirala will invest $3 million in slaughterhouse; 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 [email protected] 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 rollout was valued at $250 million.Addressing the conference on agribusiness opportunities, Ian Donald, Managing Director of Nestle Pakistan, said that the sector offered immense opportunities since commercial or industrial dairy farming does not exist in Pakistan. “There is a large unmet demand which is increasing. There is a potential to increase the yield and meet the demand,” he said.Ian said that Nestle, 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.Babar said that Pakistan offered attractive incentives for the power projects, which were the best in the world. 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 percent 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. “We are investing Rs1.6 billion in two phases to set up a rice processing plant and storage facilities near Gujranwala,” Ghori said 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 – Kahleejnews