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January 28, 2020

‘Pakistan holds $96.2bln investment potential for private sector’


January 28, 2020

KARACHI: Pakistan offers a potential $96.2 billion investment opportunity for the private sector to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the Standard Chartered SDG Investment Map said on Monday.

The study, Opportunity2030, identified opportunities for the private sector to contribute to three infrastructure-focused goals between now and 2030: SDG 6, Clean Water and Sanitation; SDG 7, Affordable and Clean Energy; and SDG 9, Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure across emerging markets.

The report said the need for private investment was intensifying, and the greatest investment opportunity in Pakistan was found in achieving and maintaining universal access to electricity (a key SDG 7 indicator), representing a $44.7 billion private-sector opportunity.

The report said that 29 percent of the population was currently without electricity access, which held great potential with projected population growth and the increasing demand for power as the economy develops. Under SDG 7, the aim was to connect 100 percent of the population with the grid.

Under SDG 9, Opportunity2030 has identified opportunities in digital as well as transport infrastructure.

Significant opportunity of $34 billion exists in digital infrastructure to achieve full digital adoption (measured by a combination of mobile phone subscription rates and internet connectivity). Digital access was a key indicator for SDG 9, which encourages improvement in industry, innovation and infrastructure. Only 27 percent of Pakistanis have digital access, while the SDG goal was to achieve 100 percent access.

On the other hand, to significantly improve Pakistan’s transport infrastructure by 2030, a $13.5 billion investment opportunity lies within the sector for the private investors. Currently, Pakistan’s Logistics

Performance Index (LPI) has an infrastructure score of 2.2. The aim was to achieve a LPI target of 2.53 by 2030.

Standard Chartered CEO Shazad Dada said, “Pakistan has demonstrated strong commitment to the UN Sustainable Development Goals by becoming the first country to adopt the SDGs as part of its national development agenda through a Parliamentary Resolution.”

He said Opportunity2030 provided an important map of the SDG opportunities for private sector investors looking to invest with impact and improve the lives of millions of Pakistanis over the next decade.

“The private sector will play a crucial role in enabling Pakistan to hit these targets and there is substantial opportunity for investment that supports infrastructure development, including digital, energy provisioning as well as clean water and sanitation,” the CEO added.

Despite significant importance of water and sanitation, the water and sanitation sector requires only around $4 billion in private funding.

Though the opportunity is small, it had potential to make significant impact as almost 24 percent of the country’s population still does not have access to clean water and sanitation.

Globally, the SDG Investment Map reveals an almost $10 trillion ($9.668 trillion) opportunity for private-sector investors across all emerging markets to help achieve the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The $10 trillion private-sector opportunity represents around 40 percent of the total funding required to meet specific indicators within the three SDGs – allowing for population growth as well as maintaining current access – with public funds expected to provide the bulk of the investment.