MoUs for Punjab

Apart from addressing the Pakistan Business and Investment Conference in Dubai, and meeting many business and government leaders, Punjab Chief Minister Mian Shahbaz Sharif and his 100-member team of businessmen also signed memorandums of understanding worth a total of $1.06 billion in different sectors. These included liquefied natural gas, real estate, information technology, animal vaccine, poultry science, slaughterhouses, infrastructure and energy. Mian Shahbaz showed a thorough understanding of what makes Pakistan complementary to Dubai. He told the conference, Pakistan’s strengths were its national resource base, large population, and low cost of production, while Dubai’s strength lay in value addition, understanding of markets and its established regional networks.

In short, Mian Shahbaz sees the two together as challenging India’s claim to the Indian Ocean, a claim based on the historical presence of Gujerati shipping in the area. The signing of the MoUs was an indication that his view was at least partly accepted by the businessmen of Dubai. There should be no objection to Mian Shahbaz bringing business to his province, for any business that comes here will come to Pakistan. The central government should also realise that the areas which give pause to the potential investor are those which are under its own control. Just to mention the leading problems, not just with any investment, foreign or domestic, in Pakistan, or rather any business, are power and security, both of which are absent. Constant loadshedding, and lawlessness, make investment in Pakistan risky. However, while the power sector is totally under federal control, law and order, though primarily under provincial control, is also under federal purview, and it has ultimate responsibility for it – Nation