Kuwaiti Fund to participate in financing of Bhasha Dam

KUWAIT: The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development (KFAED) on Sunday announced to participate in the financing of Bhasha Dam and desilting of Tarbela Dam projects in Pakistan.The announcement was made by DG Kuwait Fund Abdulwahab Ahmad Al Bader during his meeting with President Asif Ali Zardari here at Bayan Palace on Sunday after the President invited the Fund to participate in the desilting of Tarbela Dam Project, the feasibility of which would be ready by July this year.During a separate meeting with Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Kuwait Investment Authority (KIA) Bader Mohammad Al Saad, the President also invited KIA to invest in Pakistan’s infrastructure projects, offering to set up special ndustrial zone in the country where the foreign investors will be provided with tax incentives, captive power and the facilities to export their products.

The President, who gave a futuristic concept of investment during the meetings with the heads of KFAED and KIA urged the Kuwaiti financial and investment giants to help Pakistan overcome its energy shortages through financing and investments in major energy and infrastructure projects.President Zardari, who held wide ranging talks with the Amir of Kuwait Sheikh Sabah Al Ahmad Al Jaber Al Sabah, to further strengthen the bilateral ties, invited the business and investment houses of Kuwait to take advantage of the liberal investment regime as well as the investment friendly environment in Pakistan, with no restrictions on equity and repatriation of capital gains.Advisor to PM on Petroleum and Natural Resources Dr. Asim Hussain, Secretary General M. Salman Faruqui, Spokesperson to the President Farhatullah Babar and Pakistan’s Ambassador in Kuwait Iftekhar Aziz were also present in the meetings.

President Zardari said Pakistan with its geo strategic location and a deep seaport at Gwadar, offers tremendous opportunities of trade and investment.The President said Pakistan will also welcome Kuwaiti investments in other sectors such as establishment of cold chain and food grain storage facilities, setting up of agro based industries in horticulture commodities and investment in livestock, dairy and poultry sectors in Pakistan.The President also hailed the Kuwait Fund for funding the Neelum Jhelum Hydro Project with US dollars 40.8 million and said Pakistan would welcome and appreciate further funding of more hydro power projects to help the country to overcome the current power shortages.The Kuwait Fund for Arab Economic Development, commonly known as the Kuwait Fund, is the State of Kuwait’s agency for the provision and administration of financial and technical assistance to developing countries.

Besides the recent decision to provide $ 40.8 million financing for Neelum Jhelum Project, the Kuwait Fund has previously provided 15 soft term loans to Pakistan amounting to about 109 million Kuwaiti Dinars, equivalent to about 372 million U.S.  dollars for financing of various projects in Pakistan.The President also appreciated the role played by Pakistan Kuwait Investment Company (PKIC) in Pakistan and said the PKIC should be allowed to participate in larger number of mega development projects in the country as done by the Kuwait China Investment Company.resident Zardari said Sharia compliant Islamic Banking is another sector where Pakistan can benefit from the experience of Kuwait Finance House (KFH), a subsidiary of KIA, adding, the opening of KFH branches in Pakistan would be welcomed.The KIA is estimated to hold over of $ 200 billion of assets, and is reportedly one of the largest Sovereign Wealth Funds in the world.Former Minister of Trade and Member of Parliament Dr. Yusuf Zalzala along with Mr Dashti and Mrs Masha from Kuwait Gulf Link (KGL), also called on the President and discussed the prospects of increased Pak Kuwait trade and economic cooperation.The KGL is the premier provider of integrated Supply Chain  Management services in the Middle East, fulfilling the transportation, logistics, port management, shipping and freight forwarding needs  of countless regional and international clients. – APP