(MENAFN - Khaleej Times) Pakistan seeks to double its trade volume with the UAE to 26 billion in the next couple of years as it offers investment projects at the Annual Investment Meeting, or AIM, in Dubai today, its senior minister said.
Federal Minister for Commerce Makhdoom Amin Fahim, who is leading the Pakistan delegation at AIM, said the country has huge investment potential that needs to be exploited at international forums like AIM.
The three-day event will host 30 ministers, 45 official delegations and over 4,000 participants. Participating countries like China, Russia, India, Brazil, Argentina and Italy are looking at the event with great interest to explore more foreign direct investment opportunities.
"We are trying to attract international investors through our conducive investment policies," Fahim said while addressing a Press conference at the Pakistan Consulate on Monday.
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, Trade Development Authority of Pakistan chief executive Tariq Iqbal Puri, Sindh Board of Investment chairman Mohammed Zubair Motiwala and Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE Jamil Ahmad Khan also addressed the media.
The Minister said the World Bank has ranked Pakistan as No.1 overall in South Asia in comparison to other countries including India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in "ease of doing business".
"This higher ranking indicate better and stronger regulation for business and better protection of property rights and it also highlights Pakistan's openness for trade and investment," Fahim added.
Fahim said Pakistan is a safe country for investment. "Security is no more an issue in Pakistan and the investors should avail the benefits of conducive investment policies which include tax-free income, 30-year tax holiday, zero per cent import duty on machinery, etc."
He said that 25 Pakistani companies are participating in the investment meeting.
Qaim Ali Shah said Sindh province offers investment opportunities in energy sector, agro-based industries as well as in infrastructure and development projects.
"We have one of the best quality coal reserves that can generate 50,000 megawatts electricity annually. He said Sindh has proven reserves of 175 billion tonnes of coal, which can produce 100,000 megawatts for next 300 years. The province has more than 350 kilometres long coastal belt that is ideal for wind energy projects," he said.
The chief minister dispelled the impression of poor law and order situation in the province and said investors should take the advantage of investment policies and invest in power sector and agricultural projects.
"Sindh can be a powerhouse for Pakistan and regional countries if its true potential materialised with sizeable investment in energy sector," he opined.
Motiwala said the Pakistan delegation will actively participate in the investment meeting. "We are fully prepared to brief the investors about the potential projects in Sindh province. We have scheduled meetings with UAE government to further strengthen trade and investment relations."
Jamil Ahmad Khan said the UAE government has already taken up the Khalifa refinery project and further talks are in progress on investment in various energy projects. "The senior level talks will be held on the sidelines of AIM and we hope positive outcomes," he said. "Pakistan and UAE have very close historical ties, therefore, special focus of is on enhancing trade and investment between the two nations."