Pakistan invites UAE businesses
Venture capital funds in the UAE are looking to increase their exposure to Pakistan while UAE businesses which have already committed massive investments are scaling up their operations as the country promises high returns, a senior government official said.
Naeem Zamindar, Pakistan’s Minister of State and Chairman of the Board of Investment, said the UAE businesses “have shown a lot of interest because it is very close by.”
“We want UAE entities to invest in healthcare, financial services, education and retail etc. The UAE has a huge amount of capital and we want that capital to come to Pakistan. Pakistan is a very big market and we want UAE investors to invest there,” Zamindar told?Khaleej Times during an interview.
The Pakistani minister was speaking after meeting the UAE and Pakistani business communities in Dubai last week as part of his tour of GCC countries. Zamindar visited Kuwait earlier this month and will be visiting Saudi Arabia to invite promote investments in Pakistan.
The minister said Dubai-based venture capital firm Wamda Capital is conducting a due diligence to invest in Pakistan. In addition, two other UAE-based VC funds are also closely looking at the opportunities. “These UAE companies are coming to us and engaging with us. They are asking for our support for facilitation. One of the biggest players, Etisalat owns a big company and Emaar Properties is there in Pakistan and they are scaling up their projects.” Zamindar pointed out that the UAE’s investment into Pakistan was a couple of hundred of million dollars but there is a potential to attract billions of dollars because Pakistan is a high return market, the economy is growing rapidly, anything you produce, Pakistan can consume it.
GDP of Pakistan
9% GDP growth after CPEC
Highlighting the investment opportunities offered by the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), Zamindar said the UAE investors should cash in on the opportunities arising from this massive project. “Through CEPC Pakistan, you get access to China’s western provinces which are landlocked, Afghanistan and other Central Asian countries. CPEC infrastructure projects will complete by 2019 and we are forecasting 9 percent growth GDP from currently 5.8 percent,” he added.
“China is a $10 trillion market and it wants us to be part of their supply chain market. Pakistan should cash in on the Western provinces of China which are trying to develop. We have FTA (Free Trade Agreement) with China as well, so there is a huge opportunity for investors.”