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October 16, 2019

Chinese port operator to make fresh Rs38 bn investment

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October 16, 2019

ISLAMABAD: The Prime Minister, Imran Khan, has reiterated the government’s commitment to facilitate investment and ease of doing business for economic growth and employment generation.

He was talking with a delegation of Hong Kong-based port operator Hutchison Port Holdings that called on him in here on Tuesday. The group managing director apprised the prime minister of Hutchison Port Holdings’ fresh investment into Pakistan approximating $240 million that will increase the group's total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion. The Hutchison Port Holdings investment will make available a significant amount of new container terminal capacity at the Karachi Port.

The prime minister welcomed foreign investment worth $240 million (Rs38 billion) from the Hutchison Port Holdings. The prime minister was informed that this investment will also grow Hutchison employees to 3,000. He was briefed about the development of Hutchison Port Holdings, its parent company CK Hutchison Holdings, and the group’s commitment to play a pivotal role in facilitating the economic growth of Pakistan. The investor is one of the world’s largest port companies, with over 30,000 employees, operating in 52 ports and terminals in 27 countries spanning Asia, Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong.

The Minister for Maritime Affairs, Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood, Special Assistant to PM Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Ambassador at Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, Chairman Board of Investment (BoI) Zubair Haider Gilani and senior officials were present during the meeting. The delegation from the Hutchison Ports also included Andy Tsoi, Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Eric Ng, Business Director Middle East and Africa, and the leadership of their Pakistan management team.

Ambassador Ali Jehangir Siddiqui said as a result of a fairly-priced currency, the unit volumes of exports are increasing and there is a greater need for additional container terminal capacity. “As a result, this investment would support our export competitiveness and also result in greater revenue for both the federal exchequer and the Karachi Port Trust,” he maintained.

Yet in another meeting with the prime minister, the International Islamic Bank and Chairman of Pak-Qatar Takaful Insurance Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Thani Al Thani expressed the desire to invest in real estate, housing and hospitality sectors of Pakistan.

Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah informed the prime minister that he intends to invest in the hospitality industry and the planning is in an advanced stage. He noted that Pak-Qatar Takaful has over 70 branches in Pakistan and is now interested in investing in other sectors. Sheikh Ali greatly appreciated the prime minister’s efforts of promoting peace and security in the region and wished well for his visit to Saudi Arabia aimed in this direction. The prime minister reaffirmed the importance Pakistan attaches to its strong fraternal ties with Qatar and close cooperation between the two countries. He expressed satisfaction over the positive trajectory of the relationship between Pakistan and Qatar especially after the visit of Amir of Qatar to Pakistan in June this year.

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