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September 12, 2019

Russian equity fund keen to participate in privatisation process


September 12, 2019

ISLAMABAD: A Russia-based private equity firm ExpoCapital on Wednesday expressed interest to participate in the privatisation process of public sector enterprises and invest in Pakistan’s financial and manufacturing sectors.

Igor Kim, chairman of ExpoCapital said the fund would analyse opportunities of acquiring public sector entities, which are being offered for privatisation. Kim was leading a delegation of businessmen during a meeting with Minister for Privatisation Mian Soomro and Board of Investment (BoI) Chairman Zubair Gilani.

Kim said the ExpoCapital has invested in international production of a new generation of energy efficient electro bikes, and his nanotechnology company OCSiAI is an international developer and producer of signal walled carbon nanotubes for global industry.

“He (Kim) offered to invest in Pakistan’s manufacturing sector by introducing innovative technologies such AI (artificial intelligence) to help Pakistan in boosting its exports to the global market,” an official statement cited him as saying. The Russian company is working in the health sector such as artificial analysis of radiograms, diagnosis of the risk of tumors, use of AI for life extension and the prevention of age-related diseases.

Gilani informed the delegation about the current exchange rate and economic opportunities for investment in the country.

“Pakistan is embarking on the course of boosting its exports by offering special concessions to exporters and efforts are underway to substitute imports,” he said. “Huge potential is available for investment in oil and gas pipelines project and transportation, gasification of Thar coal, labor intensive export-led industry, textile, tourism, energy and mining as well as the logistic sector, particularly Pakistan’s Railways.”

Soomro said the country could produce low cost products with the help of new technologies and artificial intelligence, along with investment in skill development.

“It would support us to maximise our export to new markets of the world,” the minister said. Public sector entities in power, finance, manufacturing and oil and gas sectors are being offered for privatisation by Pakistan, he added.

Meanwhile, the Russian delegation expressed interest to invest in the electric vehicle industry as the government is set to launch a new policy to encourage investment and research in climate-friendly and energy-efficient automobiles. Kim, at a meeting with Adviser to the Prime Minister / Minister on Climate Change Amin Aslam said nano tube technology is used in all sorts of materials with scores of objectives from reinforcement to enhancing conductivity.

“Our product is microscopic and is widely being used in electric batteries, construction materials, LED (light emission diode) screen, solar panels, plastics, tires, conductors and clothes,” he said in a separate statement. “Introduction of nano materials will add to energy efficiency by making it light weight and minimising energy losses.” The minister said the electric vehicle policy is on cards and would be approved within a couple of weeks. Once the policy is approved it would open new horizons in research and development and investment in the new industry.

“Government also planned an innovation district dedicated for electric vehicles and allied technologies,” he said. “We want to make Pakistan hub for right-hand-drive electric vehicles all across the world.

Aslam said the proposed policy would offer tariff incentives in order to bring prices of electric vehicles at par with conventional vehicles. “Pakistan is a huge market for two and three wheelers and there is an immense potential for investment,” he added. “Currently Pakistan’s 43 percent emissions are from transport sector while electric vehicles will help reduce emissions by two-third.”

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