ICC-BOI inviting international investors to
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Feb-11 - 17, 2002
A 2-day International Investment Conference, being
organized jointly by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) in
collaboration with Board of Investment (BOI) in Karachi on Feb17-18.
The focus of the conference is to highlight the
opportunities, incentives, and the salient features of the government
policies towards foreign investment in Pakistan.
Hafeez Shaikh, Finance Minister of Sindh, Arif Ellahi,
Director General Board of Investment, speaking at a press briefing spell
out about investment opportunities available in Pakistan and expressed
the hope that a boom of foreign investment is expected in the days to
Tariq Rangoonwala, Head of the ICC (Pakistan Chapter)
outlining the objectives of the forthcoming conference said that besides
300-400 participants some 70 delegates would be foreign delegates from
US, Canada, Turkey, UAE, Australia, Belgium, Netherlands, Sri Lanka,
Bahrain, Iran and India would take part in the deliberation.
Present on the occasion John K. Bauman, Consul
General of the United States of America in Karachi said that tremendous
opportunities for foreign investment are coming in Pakistan especially
after lifting of sanctions against Pakistan. He said a US delegation of
the investors is coming to Pakistan next week, which will participate in
the investment conference. The US diplomat said that security however
remained as one of the main concerns of the foreign investors. The
government in Pakistan however has done a marvellous job during the last
2 years. He expressed the hope that the US delegation would take message
back for the investors regarding the areas and opportunities available
His short address however carried the punching line
" Key to economic growth lies in less aid and more trade".
Some of the objectives of the ICC Conference are the
ratification and enforcement of the international agreements and
conventions signed by Pakistan,
The ratification and implementation of which will not
only open up the region and Pakistan for trade and transport but will
also result in being a destination for major foreign direct investment
hitherto unmatched in its magnitude. These include the New York
Convention, the Istanbul Convention, The TIR Convention and the Trips
Agreement on IPR and Copyrights.
The Conference modules focus on areas that are
essential to stabilize the business environment and increase the pace of
growth and development in our region and globally.
A session on Privatization, Deregulation and
Liberalization will look at how foreign direct investment can be
encouraged towards the privatization of state enterprises in Pakistan as
well as the methodology of privatization. The speakers in this session
would be Altaf Saleem, Minister for Privatization, Dr. Ishrat Hussain,
Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Ross J. Conelly, OPIC, USA and James
Lambright, EXIM Bank, USA.
The session on Energy will look at the issue of
Pakistan's numerous untapped gas fields and at the same time a huge
unfulfilled demand. The session will also focus on the question relating
to transnational eastbound gas pipelines from West and Central Asia and
its feasibility. What are the stumbling blocks? Can international
cooperation be achieved? Can international funds be raised? Can regional
Consensus on Energy pipelines be achieved? The energy session will be
addressed by Usman Aminuddin, Minister of Petroleum and Natural
Resources, Carl B. Kress of the Trade Development Agency (TDA) USA Paul
Samson, BHP Billiton, Australia and Vincent Harrris, CEO Hub Power.
The session on Information Technology, E-Commerce and
Telecommunications will focus on the opportunities and challenges
offered by the new economy as well areas relating to building a world
class software business and the importance of venture capital as a
source of funding. The IOT session will be addressed by Richard D.
McCormick, President ICC along with Madame Maria Livanos Cattaui, ICC
Secretary General, Paris, Nasir Ali Shah Bukhari Chairman of Khadim Ali
Shah Bukhari, Salman Ansari Advisor to the Ministry of Science and
Technology on IT and Telecom, Pakistan.
The session on Transport, Shipping and Logistics will
look into the incentives needed to attract investment in the road, rail,
shipping and air transport sectors.
The IPR & Copyrights session will focus on the
issues faced by business in implementing effective protection of
intellectual property rights in Pakistan.
Another special session will be on the private sector
participation in the reconstruction of Afghanistan. The two sessions on
Arbitration would provide an overview of the ICC Arbitration system and
present case studies by senior legal experts including Khalid Anwar, A.K
Brohi and Co and Hafeez Pirzada.
The closing session on the potential of regional
economic synergies would seek to implement specific policy measures and
enhanced economic activity through greater interaction.
The Finance Minister Shaukat Aziz will deliver the