Karachi: Setting the tone for President’s forthcoming visit to Republic of Korea and to highlight investment opportunities in Pakistan among the Korean businessmen and investors, a meeting was held in the Presidency with President Asif Ali Zardari in chair and the heads and executives of the Korean companies operating in Pakistan and some federal ministers and senior officials around the table.
Briefing about the meeting Spokesperson to the President Mr. Farhatullah Babar said that President Zardari today invited Korean companies to take advantage of most attractive investment opportunities available in Pakistan in different sectors including Oil and Gas, Mining, Trading, Energy, IT and telecom, Food and Agriculture, SMEs, Infrastructure and Tourism.
The President said that he looked forward to his visit to Korea to further boost economic and trade ties between the two countries. He said that with emerging market of 180 million people, Pakistan was a potential hub of the economic activities in the region as it was located at the crossroads of West Asia, South Asia, Central Asia and China and provided shortest access to north and south asia through Gwadar port. He said that Pakistan was a force multiplier for the economies of the countries in the region and held the key to economic development in the area.
The meeting of the President with the heads and executives of leading Korean companies was also attended by Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Khar, Communications Minister Dr. Arbab Alamgir Khan, Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Makhdoom Shahabuddin, Federal Minister for Textile Industry, Syed Naveed Qamar, Federal Minister for Water and Power, Secretary General to the President Mr. M. Salman Faruqui, Chairman BOI Mr. Saleem H Manndviwala, Secretaries/Heads of the concerned departments and divisions and senior officials besides leading Pakistani businessman Mr. Dewan Muhammad Yousaf Farooqui.
Spokesperson said that the President appreciated managers and heads of Korean companies operating in Pakistan for their investment in Pakistan and their interest to further explore business opportunities in the country.
He assured the participants that Pakistan Government would continue to extend maximum facilitation and provide them with every possible support in realizing their investment objectives.
He said that the Government was keen to transform the existing relationship with Republic of Korea into economy oriented equation for the mutual benefit of the two countries. ‘We need to translate our existing relations in economic terms’, the Spokesperson quoted the President, ‘so as to take advantage of each others’ resources and opportunities.’
While highlighting Pak-Korea relations, the President mentioned landmark infrastructure projects completed with the help of South Korean companies and said that it testified lasting relationship between Pakistan and the Republic of Korea. He noted with satisfaction the contribution being made by Pakistani workers towards the economic prosperity of Korea.
He highlighted various incentives being offered by the Government to the foreign businessmen and investors. He said that all sectors of the economy were open for FDI with legal protection to the investments. Permission of 100% foreign equity, equal treatment to foreign as well as domestic investments makes Pakistan an attractive place for investment, he continued.
He said that Pakistan offered establishment of country specific economic zones to friendly countries and offered that Korea may also consider establishing an economic zone in Pakistan.
The President, then, invited the heads of Korean companies to brief the meeting on the business activities in Pakistan and put forth their suggestions for further facilitation of their businesses and economic ventures, turning the meeting into a candid interactive session.
The participants thanked the President for meeting and assured that they would continue to contribute towards economic development of the country. They also expressed their keen desire to further explore business opportunities in Pakistan.
The Korean companies represented at today’s meeting included among others Star Hydro Power, Lotte Pak PTA Co Ltd. Karachi, SAMBU Pak (Pvt) Ltd, Hyundai Engineering Co, Lotte Engineering and Construction Co, Deokjae Connecting Roads (Pvt) Ltd, Daewoo Pakistan Express Bus Service Ltd, Daewoo Pakistan Motorway Service Ltd. Karachi, LS Cable, Hyundai Corporation Karachi and Poonsan Corporation
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