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.”

Coronavirus takes further toll on Pakistani media 

Updated 28 May 2020

Coronavirus takes further toll on Pakistani media 

  • Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) calls on media organizations to enforce stricter safety rules
  • More than 150 journalists are known to have tested positive for COVID-19

KARACHI: Three Pakistani media staff lost their battle with the coronavirus on Thursday, as pressure is mounting on news organizations to protect their workers.
Two Radio Pakistan employees, Urdu newscaster Huma Zafar and senior broadcast engineer Muhammad Ashfaq died of COVID-19 on Thursday morning, the radio confirmed in a statement.
Also in the morning, 92 News senior reporter Fakhruddin Syed succumbed to the disease.
“Fakhruddin Syed is the first journalist from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa who lost his life due to this pandemic. He was one of the pioneers from 92 News HD channel,” 92 News said in an obituary on its website.
Last week, the Pakistan Federal Union of Journalists (PFUJ) appealed to media organizations to enforce stricter safety rules, as more journalists have been sent into the field since the country lifted the remaining restrictions imposed on businesses to slow the pandemic.
The PFUJ’s COVID-19 committee head, Zulfiqar Ali Mehto, told Arab News on May 21 that the majority of the infected were reporters, cameramen and photojournalists, which implies that they had contracted the virus during field coverage.
Newsrooms are not safe either, according to PFUJ.
“We have rigorously worked on collecting data and have analyzed each case, which tells us that protective measures are not being taken seriously. If a single person is infected, given almost zero space between workstations, the virus may spread across the whole office,” Mehto said, adding that few media organizations provided hand sanitizers, face masks and gloves to their staff.
More than 150 journalists are known to have tested positive for the virus, according to PFUJ’s last week’s report. 
With Thursday’s victims, at least six Pakistani media workers have died of the disease.