FOREIGN AND LOCAL INVESTMENT
The demand for industrial plots in SITE industrial area Karachi has gone up in last two years
By AZAM ALI
Aug 09 - 15, 2004
Except a few irritants and small impediments, the local and foreign investment jumped to a record level during last two years which expected to gain new heights in view of the strongly developing macro and micro economic indicators especially in Sindh-Balochistan region.
The demand for expansion in all industrial zones and development of new industrial zone in Sindh and Balochistan region was on top of the agenda in the third meeting of Investment Facilitation Board recently held at the Governor House in Karachi. Director General Board of Investment (BoI) Sindh-Balochistan region, this was disclosed by Akhlaq Ahmed Malik to PAGE in an exclusive interview.
This indicates the strong appetite for investment in this region despite the fact the infrastructure was not in a ideal state of affairs in this region.
He further said that due to increased foreign investments, we are receiving various nature of inquiries from all over the world everyday.
In the face of record investment by the local investors, we had to constitute a high powered Investment Facilitation Board (IFB) which had its third meeting in Governor House Sindh on August 5, 2004 under the chairman of Brig. Zamin. The meeting was attended by top ranking officers of all utilities and local government. The Board decided to earmark more land in Nooriabad Industrial Estate. About 90 Km from Karachi, by 5000 acres, and extension SITE areas of Hyderabad and Kotri by maximum possible scale.
"The demand for industrial plots in SITE industrial area Karachi has gone up during last two years and now it is on top of the demand" said an industrialist of the SITE industrial area. The industrial plots in SITE Karachi are now like a gold mine due to prevailing trend of investment pouring in that particular area.
The Board in its latest meeting discussed the following points And issued orders for implementation:
1)- Rationalization of electricity tariff by KESC to match electricity rates of WAPDA.
2)- Rationalization of exorbitant meter shifting rates by the KESC,
3)- Discourage the trend of average billing by KESC.
4)- Ensure adequate water supply to Industrial Zones of Karachi as per sanctioned quota.
5)-Relaxation of gas connection policy to industrial undertaking,
6)- Improve Law and Order situation.
7)- regularization of disputed plots and transfer of possession of industrial plots in North Karachi.
8)- Development work alongside Super Highway should be expedited.
9)- Setting up of more telephone exchanges in all industrial zones of Sindh Balochistan region.
10)- Revamping of sewerage system in Korangi Industrial area,
11)- Installation of street lights.
12)- improvement of water supply in Korangi Industrial Area, immediate suspension of Civil Defense inspections in all Industrial Areas.
13)- Constitution of an IFB subcommittee to meet fortnightly to review infrastructure facilities, and procedures with regard to ensure speedy new connections of power, phone, gas, and to sort out cases of excess billing, resolve complaints of frequent power shutdowns, and delays in energization.
14)- Provision of electricity and telephone connections in North Western Industrial Zone at PQA Site-B1.
15)- Rationalization and abolition of exorbitant municipal charges by the KPT on behalf of KW&SB.
16)- Policy framework for gas connections to small and medium enterprises.
17)- Removal of un-justified collection of market fee.
18)- Issuance of Octroi cess exemption notification etc.
More than 20 other pending issues of the same nature were also discussed and instructions were issued accordingly.
The frequent arrivals of trade and investment delegations to Pakistan also indicate that Pakistan remained focal point for foreign investment in this region.
According to break up about visits by foreign trade delegation, an eight-member delegation from China, headed by Vice Minister of China Mr. Wang TingKai, had a five -day visit on March, 2004 to Explore trade and and joint ventures in the textile sector.
The president of Vietnam accompanied by a 42-member trade delegation visited in March 2004 to promote bilateral trade and investment between Pakistan and Vietnam. As a result of this visit, Pak-Vietnam Business Counsel was formed. Another 13-member delegation from Korea also visited Karachi during the same month to promote trade cooperation.
A 12-member delegation from Canada visited during February 2004 to explore and promote business opportunities in Pakistan. From France a four-member delegation arrived in January this year on a fact finding mission under the leadership of ICC chairman Mr. Jean Rene Fourtou.
In all, over 60 trade and investment delegations from different countries including USA, UK, Malaysia, South Africa, UAE, Germany, Japan, China, South Korea, Australia, Singapore, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Iran, Mauritius, Bahrain, Turkey arrived in Pakistan.
The USA was the country from where more than 20 high powered delegations visited Pakistan for promoting trade ties and explore investment opportunities in our country. By the end of July 2004, there was $7593.1 million foreign investment from 30 different countries of the world. USA $2891.5 million, United Kingdom $1563.4 million, Japan $384.2 million, UAE $461.8 million, Germany $241.3 million, Korea, $197.2 million, Saudi Arabia $180.5 million, France $83.3 million, Netherlands $95.7 million, Hong Kong $84.7 million, Italy $15.6 million, Canada $15.6 million and other countries invested $1378.3 million.
The investment areas which were the focus for investment were Oil exploration, mining and quarrying, power, textile, finance and business, IT and transport, chemical pharmaceutical and fertilizer, food and beverages and tobacco which were on top on the list of the foreign investment.