DESPITE SECURITY ISSUE US INVESTMENT COMING IN PAKISTAN

US AMBASSADOR-ANNE PATTERSON: FDI WORTH $100M BY P&G

AMANULLAH BASHAR
Dec 22 - 28, 2008

The US Ambassador Anne Patterson has said that despite temporary security issues faced by Pakistan the US investor P&G has reposed confidence in the economic potential of Pakistan with an investment of $100 million which is good news for US-Pakistan relations.

Speaking at the ground breaking of P&G's second manufacturing facility with an investment of $100 million at Port Qasim, the US diplomat expressed the hope that the foreign investors would be provided all government support to make these projects a success.

She also said that hopefully these companies would not be disappointed as overseas investors in Pakistan contribute 33 percent of the total revenue which is certainly a significant contribution. She said that the United States was the single largest investor in Pakistan which is reflected in the investment worth $900 million during 2007.

Shaukat Tarin, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue, Economic Affairs and Statistics who was the chief guest on the occasion said that the present government chalked out a 9-point economic agenda to create congenial and encouraging business environment in Pakistan. He said that so far the foreign direct investment has come in certain areas like energy, telecom and banking sectors etc but under the new agenda opportunities would be provided in diversified areas as well.

While appreciating $100 million investment by the private sector from a US based company P&G, he was of the view that this project will not only generate employment opportunities for the local but also bring technology and skill. In fact such private sector units would also help in broadening the export base of the country. P&G plans to export its products after meeting the local requirements as well as pave the way for others to invest in this part of the world.

In fact it shows the confidence of the foreign investors in the depth and strength of the national economy especially at the time when the economy is passing through difficult times it is a godsend and indicates future potentials of the national economy. He said that friends of Pakistan like China and from the gulf region have also assured to come up with investment in the open market economy of Pakistan.

He said Pakistan has a consumer market of 160 million young populations with over $1000 per capita income which he was confident will increase in the days to come. He mentioned that prior to the spell of the current global financial crisis Pakistan had achieved on an average 6.5 percent GDP growth. The present government under its 9 point economic agenda focusing on rationalization of utilities and taxation especially for the manufacturing sector has a view to create right kind of business environment.

Also present at the occasion were senior government officials and Laurent Philippe, Group President for P&G's Central Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa region.

Speaking at the occasion, Laurent Philippe said: "This is our second plant in Pakistan and it is P&G's largest investment in the country. This investment symbolizes P&G's confidence that Pakistan will continue to provide a stable and conducive business environment over the long-term, strengthening our commitment to invest more in the country and serve the consumers of Pakistan. With the plant occupying only one-third of the total 25 acres of land acquired, we have built in provision for future expansion projects and other plants to serve the domestic market with the full portfolio of P&G products."

Elaborating on the vision behind this investment, Qaisar Shareef, Country Manager P&G Pakistan said: "The launch of our second manufacturing facility in Pakistan is testimony to P&G's successful history in the country. This investment project will improve local industrialization prospects by creating tremendous potential opportunity of business over the next few years. Once established, the plant will create employment opportunities for more than 7000 Pakistanis directly and indirectly. Additionally, it will contribute $1.1 billion to the national exchequer over 10 years."

This mega project consists of the construction of a complete industrial production unit for the manufacture and packing of laundry detergent and diapers. The plant will be based on latest European technology, ensuring compliance not only to Pakistani requirements but also with the strictest American, British & German standards by not only minimizing the impact on the environment but also using less energy.

Besides, bringing in the latest P&G technology the plant will underpin extensive local skill development with P&G experts from all over the world coming into Pakistan to train Pakistanis.

DUBAI ISLAMIC BANK PAKISTAN LIMITED - - - CONSUMER BANKING SUCCESS STORY

History was created over three decades ago when Dubai Islamic Bank, the world's first Islamic Bank was formed. Today, Islamic Banking and Finance is one of the fastest growing sectors around the world comprising more than 400 institutions with assets under management in excess of US$ 1 trillion (US$1,000 billion). The demand for Islamic financial solutions is growing not only in Muslim countries but in the west as well. Since its formation in 1975, Dubai Islamic Bank has been at the fore-front of providing quality Shariah Compliant Services to its ever growing customer base.

In 2006, Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited (DIBPL) opened its doors in Pakistan bringing a legacy of outstanding success, constant innovation and the expertise of a world renowned shariah board. Within a short span of over 2 years, DIBPL has established itself as a market leader on several fronts.

M A Mannan, Chief Executive Officer Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Ltd. (DIBPL) said, "DIBPL believes in providing its customers world class products and services which are designed the Islamic way. Hence the customer who comes to DIBPL does not have to compromise on any aspect of the overall banking experience just because he/she chooses to bank the Islamic way."

This explains DIBPL's success in achieving a leadership position in consumer banking, whose growth rate in market share outperforms not only the Islamic banks but also conventional banks. The Bank's consumer banking business is characterized by excellent customer service, investment in quality manpower, branch premises and a robust technology base.

According to Syed Mujtaba Abbas, Head of Consumer Banking at DIBPL, "The prudent business strategy adopted by DIBPL for consumer financing has yielded excellent results which is evident by the fact that DIBPL is still booking business when most of the banks have pulled out of the market due to heavy credit losses. DIBPL presently accounts for 30 35% of new business being booked in Auto and Home finance which is the highest amongst all banks."

The Dubai Islamic Home and Auto Finance is presently the market leader in terms of highest business acquisition volumes and lowest NCL's (net credit loss) in the industry. Following the DIBPL philosophy of providing premium quality products to customers, which provide value for money, the Dubai Islamic Auto Finance was the first product of its kind to offer free tracker for all vehicles, coupled with the lowest insurance rate.

Best practices in terms of operating procedures and technology support ensured that seamless service was provided to customers from day one, hence avoiding the teething problems usually faced by most newly established set-ups. This has enabled DIBPL to achieve one of the lowest applications processing turn-around-times (TAT's).

On the deposit side DIBPL has the privilege of being the first Islamic bank in Pakistan to introduce a VISA debit card and priority banking services. The branch network presently stands at 23 branches covering 9 cities of Pakistan which is being expanded further to cover new cities in the coming months.

Scholars of high repute with extensive experience in law, economics and banking systems make up DIB's Fatwa & Shariah Supervision Board. The Shariah Board is headed by the widely acclaimed Dr. Hussain Hamid Hassan, whereas Dr. Muhammad Qaseem is the Shariah Advisor for Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan. The shariah board supervises the development and creation of innovative Shariah-compliant investment and financing products and services. Shariah auditors ensure that all the transactions are carried out in strict compliance to Islamic principles of banking. This framework along with a stringent compliance to rules has made DIB the pioneering organization to practice Islamic finance in true letter and spirit. The very name Dubai Islamic Bank has come to signify innovation, financial dynamism, leadership and above all a complete assurance that all the transactions are free from riba (interest).

Besides being a key player and improving the lifestyle of its 30,000 customers, DIBPL is committed to attract foreign investment in Pakistan. The Bank has already acted as a catalyst for the arrival of several foreign investors in Pakistan and has convinced world renowned giants from the GCC to this market.

With an outstanding legacy of success, visionary leadership and a strong team of qualified Islamic Banking professionals at the helm, DIBPL is poised to emerge as one of the biggest banks in the country.