Qatar offers to make $2 billion investment


ISLAMABAD, May 26: Qatar has identified five major areas to make over $2 billion new investment that also includes an industrial zone and an important power project in Pakistan, a senior government official told Dawn on Saturday.

Mr Talat Miyan, executive director-general of the Board of Investment (BoI) said that the finance minister of Qatar, Mr Yousaf Hasan Kamal, is arriving here next week to finalise discussions over his country's new investment plan in Pakistan.

Later, he said Amir of Qatar will visit Pakistan next month, most, probably after the announcement of the next budget on June 9, to sign many agreements and Memorandum of Understandings (MoUs) between the two countries.

Giving details, Talat Miyan said Qatar has proposed to set up $500 million power project at Checho Ki Malian, near Sheikupura, Punjab.

Similarly, he said in Khanewal, a livestock farm at 5,000 acres had been planned to be established by Qatar at a cost of around $100 million.

"The Qatari government has informed us that it is interested to build two five-star hotels, each in Karachi and Lahore at a cost of $150 million", the executive director of BoI said.

He said Qatar is also interested to make roughly $1 billion investment in Lahore-Sialkot industrial zone.

Also, Qatari government, he said, was negotiating with the National Logistics Cell (NLC) to enter into a joint venture with it for constructing a multi-storey building in Islamabad for offices and other business activities. The project, he said, would cost about $100 million.

Qatar, he said, has shown keen interest to further set up a cement plant near Thatta at a cost of $100 million.

"The issue of launching a new airline will also be discussed for which Qatar has shown a lot of interest,” Talat Miyan added.

Responding to a question, he said all these new projects by Qatar would be set up during two to three years.

The power project, he said, could be set up within this year as certain homework had already done by the Qatari government.

He said Qatar is also interested in establishing "Qatar Islamic Bank" for which initial negotiations have been held with the central bank and the ministry of finance.

To a question, he said Qatar will be required to arrange 49 per cent equity for establishing an airline while 51 per cent equity is needed to be arranged locally.

"This issue may take time, but other five projects are expected to be finalised soon between the two governments."

Talking about China, Mr Talat Miyan said land had been identified for setting up of China-Pakistan Economic Zone for which the government would be offering five-year tax holiday.

"The Chinese government has informed us that its investors will reach Pakistan in one year once various infrastructure facilities are finalized," he said, adding that there would be zero-rated customs and excise duty in the economic zone for importing plant and machinery.

For the first time, he said, real one-window operation will be facilitated in the economic zone which will have the offices of the BoI, customs office, technical centre and other required government officials



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