July 12 - 18, 20

Vast opportunities of foreign investment in different sectors, including livestock and dairy development, power and industrial sectors exist in the province of Punjab and the Punjab government could allocate vast land for joint ventures in these sectors.

Director Chamber & Foreign Interface of Punjab Board of Investment & Trade (PBIT) Jalal Hassan said this while talking to Page.

According to him, the Punjab government under sagacious leadership of Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif was taking steps to improve infrastructure, including construction of the Ring Road and expressways in the provincial metropolis and Rawalpindi.

Jalal Hasan said the Punjab government is implementing a comprehensive programme for promotion of investment and the Punjab Board of Investment & Trade comprising experts in various sectors has also been established while local and foreign investors are being offered the maximum encouragement.

He said the Punjab government is working on alternate sources of power generation and a roundtable energy conference was recently held in the provincial metropolis where prominent industrialists, chief executive officers of multinational companies and financial institutions and large number of local and foreign investors presented proposals. He said Punjab is rich in natural resources and there are vast opportunities of investment in various sectors.

Jalal Hasan said the Italian Ambassador in Pakistan Vincenzo Prati recently hosted a reception in honour of Punjab Chief Minister Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in which diplomats of 14 different European countries also participated.

It may be noted that the chief minister Punjab Muhammad Shahbaz Sharif in a meeting with Italian ambassador said Punjab wanted to work with Italy for the development of various sectors and exchange of delegations would be important in this regard.

Shahbaz Sharif said Punjab and Italy could launch joint ventures in agriculture, livestock, and food processing sectors. The CM said setting up of botanical gardens and parks would result in recreational facilities for the masses in the province but supply of potable water to people is among the top priorities of the government. He said the provincial government is paying special attention to water supply projects and it wants Italian cooperation in the sector. He said a roadmap would be evolved for Italian cooperation with Punjab in different sectors and it would be implemented expeditiously.

The Italian Ambassador Vincenzo Prati said Italy would extend cooperation to Punjab for the development of various sectors and the recommendations of joint group constituted for this purpose would be implemented. He said Italy would set up business associations in Lahore, Multan and other cities for promoting cooperation.

Jalal Hassan, who is LLB & MBA from UK , said he worked with the leading multinational companies on various projects. On 9th May, Jalal Hassan arranged an exclusive meeting between CM Punjab and Italian Ambassador at his residence in presence of Pir Saad VC/CEO PBIT. On June 5, Jalal Hassan arranged dinner of 14 European Ambassadors with Chief Minister, which gave clear message to the international market about Punjab.

As planned the exclusive dinner with 14 EU Ambassadors was hosted by Mr & Mrs Vincezo Prati and organised by PBIT Facilitation Wing. The evening went very well with the presence of Chief Minister. The introductory speech of the CM was scheduled for 5-10 minutes but it lasted for 50 minutes by covering all the issues related to Punjab as whole. During his address, law & order situation in Punjab, security issues of Punjab in general, education, IT and reforms for the children of poor class, security of minorities, violence in different parts of Punjab, police reforms for the betterment and efficiency, foreign investment and its potential in Punjab, support of EU investors in Punjab in various sectors etc. were discussed.

The speech of Punjab Chief Minister was very composed and eye opener for the Ambassadors of 14 Europeans countries who had no clue of Punjab and its geographical fertility especially under the administration of CM Punjab.

High Commissioner of Britain, Ambassador of Germany, Ambassador of Austria, and Ambassador of Greece made several question to the Chief Minister, which were subsequently replied in-depth and acknowledged by the diplomatic clan. Most of the queries were on law and order, security in general, security of foreigners, taxation, free trade agreement.

The Ambassadors were fully impressed by the traits and command of Chief Minister in every subject whether its micro or macro level. Lastly, it created and gave a positive and introductory image of Punjab of the globe.

Furthermore, Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif had invited all the Ambassadors to invest and ask their businessmen to start taking investment initiatives in Punjab where the land is very fertile and rich in terms of agriculture, dairies, livestock, construction, animal breeding, coal, mines, mineral etc.