Sharif makes an offer Germans will find hard to resist

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  • Says energy sector is his govt’s top priority, and its biggest concern
  • Assures investors of transparency in privatisation process, says govt wants to shift role from management to regulation

 

Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Monday invited German entrepreneurs to invest in Pakistan and participate in its privatisation process, assuring it will be transparent and strictly in accordance with the international best practices.

“Pakistan is one of the most investor-friendly countries in the world. We allow 100 per cent foreign ownership, with no limit on repatriation of profits, dividends or other funds in the currency of the country of origin,” Sharif said while addressing an Investment Forum in the German capital.

He said Pakistan would like to expand FDI (foreign direct investment) in energy, infrastructure development, food, pharmaceutical, chemicals, engineering, agriculture and agro-based industry, mining, and oil and gas exploration.

The prime minister said, “Energy sector is our highest priority, and our biggest concern. Unless we overcome the problem of power shortages swiftly and effectively, there can be no meaningful development in the country.”

He said Pakistan was focusing on improving the efficiency of existing power plants, addressing problems of power generation and distribution. “At the same time, we have embarked on a massive programme of power generation, from all available sources, including hydel, coal, solar and wind,” he added.

Among hydel projects, Prime Minister Sharif mentioned the two most important ones – the 4,500 MW Diamer Bhasha Dam and 4,320 MW Dasu Power Project.

Sharif said he believed that entrepreneurship would lead to Pakistan’s economic prosperity. “Our government, therefore, accords high importance to facilitating private sector enterprises to expand business in Pakistan.”

“Today we have competitive, thriving, and growing private markets in the banking and telecommunication sectors,” he added.

The prime minister said his government had an ambitious privatisation programme, which aimed to shift the role of public sector to regulation from management.

“I invite you all to participate in the privatisation process, which will be transparent and strictly in accordance with international best practices,” he added.

Sharif said Germany had been a major investor in Pakistan. Large German companies like Merck, Hoechest, Bayer, BASF, Siemens, Linde and Metro had sizeable investment in Pakistan, he added.

He said investment by small and medium entrepreneurs from Germany would not only increase Pakistan’s quantum of trade, but would also be beneficial to both countries. “We eagerly look forward to renewed German investment in Pakistan,” he added.

The prime minister said the Board of Investment had apprised of huge investment opportunities that were available in Pakistan, with extremely attractive rates of return.

“I am sure that you will explore some of these areas for investment,” he added.

“I welcome you all to contribute towards tomorrow’s Pakistan. I wish to assure you that the government will extend full support to your initiatives,” he said, adding that his government would ensure that German investors would face no barriers in establishing business in Pakistan.

 

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