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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa invites investors

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa invites investors
Chief minister of the Pakistan province strikes a positive note at Dubai conference

By Ashfaq Ahmed, Chief Reporter
Published: 00:00 February 21, 2011


Dubai: The Chief Minister of the militancy-ridden Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) province in Pakistan has urged investors, especially overseas Pakistanis, to invest in the province which now offers great opportunities in various fields.

"We need your support as we are passing through testing times due to militancy, terrorism and recent floods," said Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Chief Minister of the KPK while addressing a gathering at the Business and Investment Conference" in Dubai's Sheraton Hotel which was organized by the Awami National Party UAE.Senator Abdul Nabi Bangash ,Leading Pakistani businessmen and diplomats, including Pakistani Consul General in Dubai, Tariq Iqbal Somoro, was also present.

Hoti, who is the youngest chief minister in Pakistan and belongs to the libral Awami National Party (ANP) ruling in KPK, presented a modern and liberal outlook of his province which is otherwise known as hub of militancy and terrorism.

"I want to eliminate the wrong impression that the whole province is on fire. It is absolutely wrong as we are in full control now and have opened up our province for foreign investment, offering great business potential in different fields," he said.

He said that potential investors can safely invest their money in various sectors including: minerals, hydro, agriculture, housing, tourism and infrastructure development. "Ours is the smallest province of Pakistan but have great untapped natural resources," he said.

‘Means of living'

Hoti acknowledged that there was problem of law and order and militancy but urged that the situation can only be improved with economic growth and it can be achieved only with foreign investment. "If we want peace in the area and the region, we have to provide means of living to people through these testing times as ours is a frontline province in the war against terrorism," he added.

"Militancy and then recent floods have taken everything away from us but, our resolve has not been dampened as we are again focused on development and have finalised long term development plan for the years 2010-2017," Hoti said.

He urged the international community to do more and fulfill their promises to prpvide economic relief to the people who suffered due to war against terrorism and military operations. "We had almost lost to militants three year ago but now the situation has reversed and we are in total command as militants are on the run due to massive military operations," he noted.

The KPK offers great incentives for investment including concessions on investments, hundred per cent ownership, free industrial states and projects on build-operate and transfer (BOT) basis).

Great opportunity

Hoti said there is great opportunity for investors to invest in the proposed Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) which will be set up with the help of the US in the KPK and tribal areas in a bid to provide economic activity to the people of the area. "The ROZs bill is in the US Senate and we hope it will be approved soon. Investors in the ROZs will get direct access to the US market," he added.

Hoti said it is his government's policy to encourage investors to invest and to provide them fast track facilitation and ensure early removal of any hurdles. "It is our commitment to interested investors that we will set the shorted time frame between an investor's expression of interest and the government's response in terms of facilitation for investment in the province. He also offered to arrange visits of potential investors to the KPK to further discuss investment opportunities.

Bilateral trade between the UAE and Pakistan is expected to hit a record $9 billion (Dh33.1 billion) this year.

1 comment:

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