Interview with Mr Khalid Tawab – Chairman, Tawab Group of Companies
PAGE: Kindly tell me about yourself:
KHALID TAWAB: I am Chairman of Tawab Group of Companies which is renowned named in the manufacturing of paper and board and steel. I have served as Senior Vice President and Vice President of FPCCI and Karachi Chamber. I am honorary Consul General of Mozambique since 1989. President of Pakistan awarded me Sitara-e-Imtiaz in 2009 in recognition of my outstanding public services. My company got two time FPCCI Export Awards and one time International Asia Award due to highest exports.
I am also a philanthropist and trustee of Aiwan-e-Tijarat-o-Sanat Hospital.
PAGE: What are your views on employment opportunities for Pakistanis in UAE?
KHALID TAWAB: UAE has one of the largest expatriate communities of 85 percent of its population, which translates to around 8 million labor force. UAE is one of the employment destinations for Pakistan and largest source of remittances from Pakistani expatriates. Pakistani expatriates in the UAE have contributed significantly in the economic growth and development and to the economy of Pakistan through remittance of US$4.3 billion.
Around 1.5 million Pakistani expatriates are working in UAE and with the expansion of construction and other activities in the real estate sector the employment opportunities for Pakistanis are increasing day by day.
PAGE: What kind of workforce is required in UAE now and five years down the road?
KHALID TAWAB: UAE is going to host the first international level Expo 2020 wherein around 100 countries would be participated. At present, UAE is developing its infrastructure by establishing real estates, roads, hotel and other areas; which indicates the requirement of Pakistani workforce in UAE. Moreover, many Pakistani has already made huge investment in UAE in Real Estate and construction sector. Pakistan has significantly cooperated with the UAE in establishment of its important institutions like armed force, police, health and education sectors and in these institutions, many Pakistani are working which indicates huge potentials for employment opportunities.
PAGE: Your views on trade relations between Pakistan and UAE?
KHALID TAWAB: The trade relations between Pakistan and UAE are very strong and significant because both countries have common religion, history, culture, common faith, shared values and commercial linkages. UAE is the second largest source of imports for Pakistan and contributed 13.2 percent in imports of Pakistan with volume US$ 6.2 billion due to import of largest quantity of crude oil. From exports side, Pakistan exports stood around US$ 1 billion to UAE and cereals and meat are the main items of exports. For enhancing further bilateral trade, both countries should focus on promoting strong connectivity between private sectors and facilitate frequent exchange of trade delegations that would help in further enhancing current volume of bilateral trade.
PAGE: Your comments on UAE investment in Pakistani industry:
KHALID TAWAB: UAE is one of the important source of investment in Pakistan and has made investment in oil, gas, mining, telecommunication, petroleum refining, ports, aviation and banking sector which help in economic stability of Pakistan. At present, many UAE banks are operating in Pakistan like Dubai Islamic, Islamic banking, Bank Alfalah etc. Many UAE companies like Abraaj Capital, Etisalat, International Petroleum Investment Company, Emirates investment Group has made investment in different sectors.
PAGE: Kindly tell me about the living standards of Pakistanis in UAE:
KHALID TAWAB: At present, approximately 1.50 million skilled and semi-skilled Pakistani expatriates are residing in the UAE, contributing significantly in the economy of UAE. Majority of the Pakistani expatriates currently working in the UAE have blue-collar jobs and according to some estimate, 80 percent of Pakistani expatriates are working blue-collar jobs, whereas 20 percent are working white-collar jobs. All these indicate that there is a good living standard of Pakistanis in UAE.