Efforts to create
investor-friendly atmosphere and to ensure stability and continuity of the policies
By SHABBIR H. KAZMI
Feb 14 - 20, 2000
Chief Executive General. Pervez Musharraf was the chief guest at the
inauguration ceremony of PVC plant of Engro Asahi Polymer and Chemicals Limited. While
addressing he identified four areas for developing a self-reliant national economy. These
were: increase in revenue collection, reduction in non-development expenditure, providing
opportunities and incentives for direct foreign investment, and encouraging local
producers to increase exports. He called upon the foreign investors to invest in Pakistan
in oil and gas exploration. Exploration and enhanced production hold great potential for
the growth of downstream petrochemical industry and projects like Engro Asahi, he added.
The government will encourage the setting up of such projects since
they promote technology transfer, industrial infrastructure development and job creation.
General Musharraf said: "We will support private sector's efforts to work with the
government to develop commerce and industry. In this regard, we will assist Engro Asahi in
its efforts to support the development of engineering, chemical, housing and agricultural
The Ministry of Industries is preparing a long-term plan for
development of chemicals industry by examining the value chain from raw material to
finished products. The government is making efforts to create investor-friendly atmosphere
and to ensure stability and continuity of the investment policy and efforts are being made
that the succeeding governments stick to this investment policies.
He said that the government was conscious of the importance of foreign
investment in the country and would take measures to give credibility to its policies and
commitments to foreign investors. He said Engro Asahi was an example of excellent
relations between Japan and Pakistan. "We hope that the commitment shown by Asahi
Glass and Mitsubishi in investing in Pakistan will encourage other Japanese companies to
invest also, and that Japan will continue to be our largest business partner."
Japan is an excellent example for Pakistan to follow. They became a
major industrial power by sheer hard work, by effective policy making and implementation,
and most importantly by bringing changes in their organizational structure and basic
thought process. "
Minrou Kubota, Ambassador of Japan, said despite compulsions, Japan had
been supporting Pakistan in strengthening its economy. He said: "Although we (Japan)
have been facing a few difficulties lately due to the situation influenced by Pakistan's
security compulsions, Japan's policy to support the economic and social development in
Pakistan does not change at all. I trust Pakistan will emerge as a country with vibrant
economy and strong industrial base. Japan, being a good friend of Pakistan is willing to
help accelerate economic growth by extending all kinds of economic and technical
assistance. I hope that under the strong leadership, Pakistan could provide good
atmosphere for active trade and new investments between the two partners.
Zaffar A. Khan, President, Engro Chemical Pakistan Limited, said that
industrial and investment policies of the government needed consistency. He suggested that
the government should take necessary measures which can help in restoring the confidence
of investors in the industrial and investment policies of the government.
Asad Umer, President, Engro Asahi Polymer & Chemicals said that the
total cost of the plant was three billion rupees. Its installed capacity of the plant was
100,000 tonnes of PVC resins per year. It would meet the local requirements of 70,000
tonnes per annum and export the balance. He said that the plant would help not only in
reducing the import bill of the country but would also help in earning millions of
Despite an annual growth rate of 10 per cent over the last decades
there has been no local production of PVC. The use is expected to increase with the
availability of locally produced material. PVC is used in almost all the products used
commonly in a house-hold.
Others who spoke on the occasion included Shinya Ishizu, President of
Asahi Glass Company, and Yasuo Sone, CEO, Chemical Group, Mitsubishi Corporation. They
expressed the hope that their partnership with Engro would encourage other investors to
explore business potential in Pakistan.