Foreign investment in Punjab By: Mohammad Arif - Articles Detail
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Foreign investment in Punjab  Back
By: Mohammad Arif
World's leading investors have assured investment in coal, minerals and energy sectors of Pakistan. The Punjab government takes the lead in attracting foreign in investment in every hook and corner of Punjab cities.  Observing the huge investment potential in Punjab, a number of foreign investors would soon be attracted to fetch their due share in the progressing market. The government is giving its utmost priority to the safety and security of the foreign investors to provide them level playing fields in Pakistan.
Andrei Mikhnev, International Finance Corporation head of investment department for Middle East and North Africa, said Punjab is the only province of Pakistan where positive changes are being witnessed. HE said International Finance Corporation is already working with Punjab government in different sectors and co-operation will further be promoted.
The Mass Transit Project Multan is likely to be launched either by the end of ongoing year or the beginning of next year by the Punjab Government. The study will be conducted by a Turkish enterprise Usmani Company.  The project had been promised by the Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in the election campaign. The Chief Minister Punjab Shahbaz Sharif materialized the promise of his elder brother and party chief by announcing Metro for three big cities of Punjab including Multan.
China has agreed to invest around $52 billion in major projects including dams, motorways, fiber-links, garments city, mineral resources, energy sector and coal, construction of tunnels, economic corridor, Gwadar port, oil refinery, railway and agriculture.
Pakistan and China are working on several important projects to stop Pakistan's deep energy crises for this purpose. Pakistan wants to have 8800 Megawatts of atomic power till 2030. Wall street Journal has reported that Pakistan is eyeing to acquire atomic energy plants for electricity to be installed in Punjab. It is also working with China to build its infrastructure as recently inaugurated Gwadar to Kashghar corridor will benefit 3 billion people across the four provinces.
 China will help Pakistan setup new railway tracks. Pakistan Railways has submitted a request for funds to Planning Commission to prepare a pre-feasibility report of setting up railway tracks from Islamabad to Murree and Muree to Muzafarabad. By this project, 5 million commuters will be benefited annually.
Pakistan is also working on Karachi-Lahore motorway. This 1160 km long motorway will connect Karachi, Hyderabad, Dadu, Sukkur, Rohri, Pannu Akil, Ghotki, Obaro, Rahim Yar Khan, Sadiqabad and Multan.  Three bridges will also be constructed over Sindh, Sutlej and Ravi rivers. These mega-projects along with several others will help Pakistan a strong economy.
Heavy investment in energy sector in Punjab is expected due to Chief Minister's meetings latest in China. Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif met in Beijing heads of different energy companies, financial institutions, development agencies and banks. They discussed various proposals for investment in coal, solar and hydel power projects in Punjab.
The solar power plant in south Punjab would start operating by the end of the current year. In order to encourage investors, the Punjab government will primarily make investment in various energy projects. There is a vast scope of setting up power plants operated with hydel, solar, wind and coal-fired energy and the Punjab government is offering the best rate of profit and incentive to investors.
Heavy investment by United Kingdom, China and Germany in Pakistan is a proof of its confidence in the dynamic leadership of the country.  The Punjab government is providing special facilities to foreign investors on priority basis. It is working on a mega project of generation of electricity from coal and six sites have been identified for setting up coal-based power generation projects in Punjab.
Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif has stressed the need to further increase the volume of trade between Germany and Pakistan. There are vast opportunities of investment in energy and other sectors in Punjab and German investors should benefit from them.
Germany can increase bilateral cooperation in energy and other sectors as the shortage of energy has badly affected national economy as well as all sectors of life. Special incentives are being offered to local and foreign investors for investment in energy sector.  Germany has expertise in solar energy and Punjab government is very much eager to benefit from it.
The Chief Minister of Punjab Shahbaz Sharif said that government has taken effective measures for providing complete protection to foreign investors in Punjab. He has assured that German investors as well as their capital will be extended full protection in the province.
The work is being carried out on a big project of power generation from coal in Punjab while the project of Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park, over a vast area in Bahawalpur, is being implemented speedily. Basic infrastructure has been provided in the solar park.  Punjab government is setting up a 100 megawatt solar power project in Quaid-e-Azam Solar Park with its own resources and it will start production from this year.
 Punjab government is providing special facilities to foreign investors on priority basis.  Punjab government is working on a mega project of generation of electricity from coal and six sites have been identified for setting up coal-based power generation projects in Punjab. An attractive environment for investors has been created in the province and all facilities regarding investment are being provided under one roof.
For the purpose of tax collection, Punjab Revenue Authority has been established in the province and its capacity is being built. Lot of stress is given to the importance for reformation of taxation system for increasing resources and implementation of development and public-welfare projects. Full advantage is being taken of expertise and experience of International Finance Corporation for the capacity-building of Punjab Revenue Authority.
 Local private sector is being fully encouraged to promote investment in Punjab. The role of private sector is of vital importance for national development as the targets of development cannot be achieved without participation of the private sector. The Punjab government is bringing forward private sector and more facilities are being given to it for investment in energy and other sectors.
Co-operation of International Finance Corporation is essential for provision of the best facilities to investors, which will also help in improving efficiency of government institutions and encouragement of private sector for investment.
Due to business-friendly policies of the Punjab government, foreign investors and companies have shown keen interest in investment in various sectors in the province. There is a vast scope of setting up power plants operated with hydle, solar, wind and coal-fired energy and the Punjab government is offering the best rate of profit to investors.
Projects to be started with Chinese cooperation in Punjab will be executed with the same speed at which metro bus project was completed in Lahore. Under the agreement China will make investment of billions of rupees in Pakistan and it will be the heaviest Chinese investment in Pakistan in the history of the country.  China had promised to invest twenty billion dollars in the energy sector only to rid the people of Pakistan from load shedding.
Shahbaz Sharif said heavy investment by China in Pakistan was a proof of its confidence under the dynamic leadership of the country. Chinese farsighted leadership is fully aware of the fact that the dominance of the country is in the hands of those who believed in hard practical work and are fully sincere, dedicated and committed to the nation.