Pakistan – Italy investment forum

Islamabad, December 06, 2016 (PPI-OT): The Pakistan-Italy Investment Forum jointly organized by the Board of Investment and Italian Embassy in Pakistan on 6th December, 2016 at Serena Hotel, Islamabad, during the 02 days official visit of Italian Deputy Minister for Economic Development accompanied with fifty prominent businessmen to Pakistan. Mr. Khawaja Asif, Minister for Water and Power was the chief guest. The investment Forum was also attended by President and CEO’s of different, multinational Pakistani business circles.

Dr. Miftah Ismail, MOS / Chairman, BOI and Mr. Azhar Ali Choudhry, Secretary BOI welcomed the Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Italy and business circles from Italy and Pakistan in the Investment Forum and highlighted that Pakistan is offering a very liberal investment regime in the region with diverse and business friendly incentives. He informed the participants that under the dynamic leadership of our Prime Minister Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and our Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar Pakistan’s economic outlook has altogether changed in the last three years, a fact which is now being globally acknowledged. When our Government assumed power in 2013, we were facing energy crisis, economic instability, extremism and terrorism. Our Government has handled these issues head-on and achieved substantial success in all these areas.

As a result of these consistent efforts, GDP growth of 4.71 % was achieved in last year which was the highest in last seven years. Pakistan has made a considerable improvement in restoring economic stability and now the economy is moving on a high growth trajectory. Stock Market is touching historic high and crossed 40, 000 points. Confidence of foreign and local investors has increased on the friendly trade and investment policies of our government. Inflation during 2016 contained at 2.79%, which is the lowest in last 13 years, foreign exchange reserves are touching new heights and remittances are on the rise.

Promoting regional connectivity is one of the pillars of our development strategy. The government is actively pursuing this initiative which has the potential to integrate South Asia, China, Central Asia and West Asia which are engines of growth in Asia. The game changer agreements have been signed between Pakistan and China called China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). The focus of CPEC is on energy, a network of roads, railway and pipelines between the long-time allies connecting Kashgar city of China with Gwadar Port of Pakistan. In addition, we are also working on Turkmenistan- Afghanistan-Pakistan gas pipeline, Iran-Pakistan gas pipeline, Central Asia, South Asia electricity transmission projects which would immensely enhance Pakistan’s regional connectivity and make it hub of economic development.

Mr. Khawaja Asif, Minister for Water and Power said that Pakistan has enormous energy resource potential for both renewable and non-renewable. Pakistan is blessed with huge energy resources, which includes over 60,000 MW of hydel potential, 340,000 MW potential for wind Energy, and potential of 2,324 million MW for solar thermal and photovoltaic systems. In addition, 105 trillion cubic feet of shale gas reserves and 9 billion barrels of shale oil reserves are yet to be tapped. Furthermore, Pakistan is fortunate to have 185 billion tonnes of coal reserves which can be used for power generation as well as diesel production.

Since inception of our Government and Dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, we have placed a strong emphasis on hold economic reforms to achieve significant improvement in all sectors of the economy. Pakistan’s economy has made significant progress through a combination of stabilization and structural reforms.

Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto, Deputy Minister for Economic Development, Italy addressed Pakistan-Italy Investment Forum and thanked the government and people of Pakistan for such hospitality. He thanked Board of Investment and Italian Embassy in Pakistan, for providing platform for the businessmen from both the sides. He urges the Italian businessmen to invest in projects of Pakistan. He praised the support given by the people of Pakistan to the Italian nation.

He expressed a dire need to establish inter-governmental framework between the two countries to further boost trade relations between the two countries. He urged to boost up exchange of business delegations between the two countries for further improvement of trade between the countries. Mr. Ivan Scalfarotto shows satisfaction over the economic growth of Pakistan and highlighted improvement in the country economy and said that Italian companies are well aware about the investment scope and potential of Pakistani market. He said that huge Chinese investment in Pakistan and TAPI gas projects will play a vital role in the economic development of Pakistan and for the region. Mr. Ivan appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for improvement in the economic and security conditions in the region.

Deputy Minister, Italy also said that Italy is having experience expertise in technology and know-how to meet the requirements of Pakistan on energy, power plants, and we wish to contribute on these energy problems.

The forum was also addressed by Ms. Naheed Memon, Chairperson Sindh BOIT and Mohsin Syed heads of provincial investment promotion agencies from Sindh and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. They highlighted the investment opportunities available in their respective provinces and invited Italian businessmen for investment. At the end B2B meetings were held between Pakistani and Italian businessmen in the sectors of Infrastructure and Construction, Renewable Energy, Automotive, Machinery for Agriculture and Food Processing, Textile and Leather, Agro-based, and Machinery for Marble and Stones.

The forum will pave the way for trade and investment promotion, delegations to visit each other’s country and explore possibilities for further expansion of trade and investment in both the countries. At the end, the vote of thanks was delivered by Dr. Miftah Ismail.

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