Egypt to invest $1 billion in Pakistan, says envoy

A high level business delegation from Egypt in a meeting with Chairman BOI, Syed Zubair Gillani at BOI on October 03, 2019. (APP)
Updated 22 October 2019

Egypt to invest $1 billion in Pakistan, says envoy

  • Pakistan optimistic the investment will bring new jobs, says BoI chairman
  • The two countries have established a joint working group on trade to explore new opportunities — Egyptian envoy

ISLAMABAD: Egyptian companies are ready to invest $1 billion mainly in Pakistan’s energy, infrastructure, halal food, and tourism sectors, said Ahmed Fadel Yacoub, the Egyptian ambassador to Pakistan, on Monday.

“It is from the private sector,” the envoy explained while talking to Arab News over the phone from Islamabad. “Investment projects will begin in the next one year. The understanding was reached during the visit of two high-profile business delegations from Egypt to Pakistan during the month of October.”

Yacoub further said the first delegation visited Pakistan in the first week of October.

“Representatives of big (Egyptian) companies met with Prime Minister Imran Khan and senior officials of relevant ministries. The second delegation came to Islamabad last week and interacted with ministers, state functionaries and members of chambers of commerce,” said the envoy.

The Egyptian companies El Sewedy Electric, which expressed its intention of investing $500 million in Pakistan’s energy sector, and Al Suwaidi Group discussed different projects related to infrastructure and housing.

 “From the information provided by the representatives [of these companies], the investment would be approximately $1 billion,” he added.

The ambassador informed that Pakistan and Egypt had set up the first joint working group last week in Islamabad to identify and explore more opportunities.

“Pakistan’s Ministry of Commerce and Egypt’s Commercial Service signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for the establishment of the Pakistan-Egypt Joint Working Group (JWG) on trade. The first meeting of the JWG was held on the sidelines of a trade conference organized by the Ministry of Commerce and Textile in Islamabad last week.”

A high-level delegation of officials and businessmen from Egypt, led by First Undersecretary of Egyptian Commercial Service Ahmed Anter, visited Islamabad to attend the conference held on Oct 16 -17.

Chairman of Pakistan’s Board of Investment (BoI) Zubair Gilani told Arab News that Islamabad welcomed this initiative of Egyptian companies since it would help enhance economic relations between the two countries.

“There were a series of meetings taking place between BoI officials and Egyptian delegates wherein different investment options came under discussion. We are very optimistic that this will bring new jobs to Pakistan,” he said.

Gilani noted that Egyptian companies were interested in the construction sector as representatives of Al Suwaidi Group discussed different projects related to that area earlier this month.

“We can cooperate with each other in construction since this group has a good reputation for building low-cost housing schemes. Egyptians have also shown interest in livestock, halal food, and agriculture sectors, so we are ready to facilitate them,” he added.

Badar Haroon, former senior vice president of the Rawalpindi Chamber of Commerce and Industries (RCCI), said Pakistani companies were ready to collaborate with Egyptian firms and get into joint ventures.

“I attended the meeting of an Egyptian delegation with RCCI members last week and we assured them that we were ready for joint ventures or extend them any other help,” Haroon told Arab News, adding that the visiting delegation discussed investment projects in health, textile, agriculture, and surgical equipment.

“The country, as well as the business community, will benefit from this investment since whenever money is injected in the market it helps generate a ripple effect that helps other businesses as well.”

’Willing’ to host next SAARC summit, Pakistani foreign minister says at UN meeting

Updated 4 min 2 sec ago

’Willing’ to host next SAARC summit, Pakistani foreign minister says at UN meeting

  • A summit of South Asian leaders set for Islamabad in 2016 was called off as several countries led by India decided not to attend
  • Modi canceled 2016 SAARC visit after blaming Pakistan for a deadly assault on an army base, which Pakistan denies

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani foreign minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi has said this week the South Asian nation had restated its willingness to host the next summit of the South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC).
A summit of South Asian leaders set for Islamabad in 2016 was called off as several countries, led by India, decided not to attend amid rising tensions between arch-rivals New Delhi and Islamabad over militant attacks.
SAARC member states are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, the Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
“I restated Pakistan’s willingness to host the 19th SAARC Summit and for obstacles created in its way to be removed for SAARC to function as an effective instrument of regional cooperation,” Mahmood said in a Twitter post, providing details of the SAARC Council of Ministers meeting held on the sidelines of UN75, the 75th anniversary of the UN.

“As a founding member of #SAARC, [Pakistan] attaches great importance to the platform & charter which upholds the principle of sovereign equality as basis for meaningful regional cooperation,” the foreign minister added. “We will continue to play a proactive role toward the success of this important organization.”
In 2016, tensions between India and Pakistan rose as Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi canceled a visit to Islamabad for SAARC after blaming Islamabad for a deadly assault on an army base in the disputed Himalayan region of Kashmir that had heightened fears of a new conflict between the nuclear-armed neighbors.
India said militants sneaked across the de facto border that separates the countries and killed 18 soldiers on September 18, 2016, the biggest loss of life for Indian security forces in the region for 14 years.
Pakistan rejected the accusation and said India should conduct a proper investigation before it apportions blame.
Divided between India and Pakistan since 1947, the flashpoint of Kashmir lies at the heart of the countries’ rivalry.