Pakistan offers great opportunities for trade: Mandviwala

KARACHI: Pakistan, with its proximity to energy-rich Central Asia and emerging economies of India and China, has significant importance in world trade and flow of capital. Pakistan has 3 seaports to serve the world’s trade route. Its 180 million population serves as a large market base for investors particularly in the services and FMCG sectors, Saleem H Mandviwala, Minister of State & Chairman, Board of Investment (BoI) stated in a press briefing on Monday.

Shedding light on the multilateral conference, BoI chairman said it is a joint, private & government interaction where local and international business communities from Germany, Japan, Russia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, South Korea, Australia, France, Belgium, Italy, Switzerland and Pakistan will join hands and explore possibilities to create business activities. “The result of such an initiative is the existence of mutual advantages for all parties,” Mandviwala said.

The conference will revolve around working groups and focus on the following sectors, infrastructure, engineering, pharmaceuticals, mines & minerals and agriculture & farming.

The conference is being organised by the bilateral groups of aforementioned countries, led by the Pakistan-Japan Business Forum, and supported by the BoI and the Trade Development Authority of Pakistan (TDAP).

Saleem H Mandviwala said these countries are important investment and trade partners because they form Pakistan’s non-traditional markets wherein most of the growth opportunities lie.

“Multilateral conferences such as these serve to bring together buyers, exporters and investors from different countries to form synergies and maximise efficient business contracts,” he said and added this is the first time that all these stakeholders will participate on one platform with the unified aim of enhancing investment and trade in Pakistan.

The BoI plays a pivotal role in servicing and facilitating investors that are interested in exploring Pakistan as a destination. BoI provides a one-window and hassle-free facility for all their business needs from online visa processing to opening up of branch or liaison offices.

The BoI also offers investors one of the best investor incentives in the region, from 5-year tax holidays to 100% equity allowed. Moreover there is equal treatment of foreign and local investor. The recent SEZ Act also offers investors facilitation such as provision of all utilities till the Special Economic Zone Gate.

The opportunities for investment in the focused sectors are enormous enabling the participating countries to explore the business and investments possibilities through interactive discussions with their local partners and the government for favourable facilitations. The wide-range of services provided by BoI includes providing information on the opportunities for investment and facilitating companies that are looking for joint ventures will augment the initiative.

The BoI acts as a focal point of contact for prospective investors, both domestic and foreign to provide them with all necessary information and assistance in coordinating with other government departments/agencies.

The first multilateral conference will be held on October 20, 2011 in Karachi and will precede the EXPO PAKISTAN, which takes place from October 20 – 23, 2011 at the Expo Center.

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