Mar 12 - 18, 20

The United Arab Emirates (UAE), which has a market-based economy, is now actively embracing a further diversification of its economy away from dependence on the oil and gas industry. UAE's policy is for a greater involvement by the private sector in its economic development including both capital raised at home and capital that comes as a result of foreign direct investment.

The UAE enjoys a fast growing economy and Pakistan recognizes UAE as the hub of economic activity in the Middle East. Close relationship between Pakistan and UAE has helped the flow of economic benefits from the UAE to Pakistan and the import of Pakistani goods into the UAE.

The UAE maintains a leading position as foreign direct investor in Pakistan. The five main sectors of investment from the UAE are banking and insurance, services sector including tourism, IT, telecommunication, and oil and gas. UAE airlines, Emirates, Etihad, RAK, are also investing in Pakistan.

Al Ghurair-Giga is investing in real estate and food sectors, while IFFCO of Sharjah is investing in edible oil.

Pakistan's investment in the UAE is mainly in the sectors of real estate, construction machinery, and technical services industry.

In the area of bilateral trade, Pakistan's imports from the UAE are crude oil, machinery, and gold being the three major items of import. Pakistan's exports to the UAE with the main exports include petroleum product, textiles, rice, leather and its products, fruits and vegetables, sports goods, and surgical goods.

The implementation of the projects initiated by the UAE in Pakistan is progressing with great commitment on both sides. Experts said, "We must appreciate that the good relations with the UAE and its support at all forums are helping Pakistan in the GCC states and in the Arab World."

Pakistani businessmen and professionals in the UAE are playing a major role in banking, medical and construction sectors specially in Abu Dhabi and Dubai. Pakistani business groups are encouraged to get registered on the stock market in the UAE, he said.

The UAE hosts a 762,000 strong Pakistani community. Pakistanis are also being encouraged to share in the economic development of their country.

Experts believe that there is scope for the UAE and Pakistan to work closely on economic fronts.

In terms of energy, the UAE, of course, is a surplus producer of oil, but we have a need for access to more supplies of gas to fuel our development.

Pakistan is actively engaged in a search for more oil and gas, and UAE-based firms are playing a part in this process. "We look forward to more collaboration in this field. In terms of industrialization, both of our countries are working to develop the industrial sectors of their economies. There is scope for collaboration in investment in some of the projects, and, as you know, UAE firms are taking an active role in Pakistan's development programme, and there is already very major investment by UAE firms in all sectors of Pakistan's economy."

Traditionally, the UAE's development has been undertaken with the participation of people from Pakistan, and we anticipate that this will continue. The issue of food security, of course, is something that affects us both, and is of ever-increasing importance as our populations grow. Both the countries can together on the production of food.

Investment and business relations between Pakistan and United Arab Emirates are widening and deepening. The present $13.1 billion UAE investment in Pakistan can be doubled, and the $7.6 billion plus trade rapidly raised.

The UAE has agreed to provide a $265 million soft loan for building mega dams in Pakistan. The new agreements and MoUs cover bilateral political consultations between UAE and Pakistani foreign ministries, establishment of a joint UAE-Pakistan Business Council, protocol on cooperation in media, cooperation in terrorism and organized crime, and cooperation in the field of culture.

UAE's sustained official and private sector interest and growing FDI inflows make it the biggest investor in Pakistan in several sectors including telecom, airlines, banking, financial services, construction and real state.