Prime Minister Mian Nawaz Sharif has urged Turkish entrepreneurs to take advantage of lucrative investment opportunities in Pakistan and to invest in different sectors.
Speaking at Pak-Turkey Business and Investment Forum in Istanbul on Wednesday‚ he said Turkish entrepreneurs can invest in oil and gas housing and infrastructure.
The Prime Minister assured them that a special cell would be set up at his office to facilitate Turkish investors.
Nawaz Sharif said a Joint Chamber of Commerce would also be set up to promote trade between the two countries.
The Forum was largely attended by Turkish and Pakistani businessmen.
The Prime Minister told participants that foremost priorities of PML (N) Government include good and accountable governance; creation of a peaceful and secure environment; economic revival; energy security; poverty alleviation and creation of new jobs.
He said the aim of the government is to increase GDP gradually to 7 percent‚ enhance foreign exchange reserves to over 20 billion dollars‚ and reduce public debt by 57 percent of the GDP and to increase investment to GDP ratio to rise to 20 per cent.
He also drew their attention to the recent ratings released by the Standard and Poor; and Moody‚ in which they have reposed confidence in Pakistan’s economy‚ by rating Pakistan from a negative of 34 to a positive of 2.
The Prime Minister said Pakistan lies at the crossroads of South‚ Central and West Asia. Being a market of more than 180 million people‚ its human resource capital comprising a youthful‚ educated and skilled workforce is second to none in the world. Pakistan is also endowed with rich and untapped natural resources and coal reserves in Sindh are one of the largest in the world. All these advantages coupled with a friendly investment policy offers ideal opportunities for investment in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister told the Forum that Pakistan has a liberal investment policy‚ which includes‚ 100% equity ownership‚ full repatriation of capital‚ tax breaks‚ customs duty concessions on import of plant and machinery and raw materials. Special Economic Zones have been established with efficient infrastructure and one window facility and more such zones are in the offing.
He said the energy sector of Pakistan with its vast potential in thermal‚ coal‚ wind and solar areas is ripe for investment. From large projects of over 5‚000 MW to small and medium sized projects‚ the opportunities are wide-ranging.
He said provision of low-cost housing is another priority area of the government. The demand for housing is increasing and over the next five years‚ the government plans to build 500‚000 new housing units across the country.
The Prime Minister said construction and infrastructure sector is another key element of his developmental agenda. In the coming years‚ the government plans to construct country-wide new highways and motorways‚ build new airports‚ shopping malls and theme parks.
The Economic Corridor that will link the Chinese city of Kashgar to the port city of Karachi‚ is amongst one of the most important initiatives of the government. We plan on building a high quality modern expressway that will not only connect China and Pakistan as a modern equivalent of the ancient silk-route‚ but also open up countless economic opportunities for Pakistan from China to Central Asia.
He said the Government is also planning on a network of six-lane motorways linking the city of Lahore to Karachi through the city of Multan. Similar modern highways will link other important cities‚ opening up the deep interiors of the country to unprecedented economic growth and development.
Mian Nawaz Sharif said another important priority area of his government is urban development including provision of modern municipal services‚ solid waste management and public transport.
He said the Turkish textile companies with their superior technical capabilities and investment capacity could explore this sector for joint ventures.
The Prime Minister drew attention to Agro Industry that has a huge investment potential and export opportunities. Pakistan has a strong agricultural base and it is world leading producer of cotton‚ wheat‚ rice‚ sugar cane‚ lentils‚ fruits and vegetables. Pakistan also has a top global ranking in production of milk. Turkish agro companies with their expertise in the food processing technology would find this sector very attractive for value addition and conversion of this ‘white gold’ into cheese‚ butter and dry milk powder. NNI