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.”

Pakistan reopens borders for trade with Iran 

Updated 05 July 2020

Pakistan reopens borders for trade with Iran 

  • Had closed all five terminals in Feb. to limit COVID-19 infections from Tehran
  • Follows interior ministry’s directive two days ago

 KARACHI: Starting Sunday, Pakistan will resume trade at four of its border points with Iran, weeks after opening its main Taftan crossing on June 17, the Foreign Office spokesperson told Arab News on Sunday.
“All five points are open from today. Taftan is the main border for travel and trade,” Aisha Farooqui said.
The border opening follows a directive issued by the interior ministry on Friday instructing officials to reopen the crossings based on a decision taken during a National Command Operation Center (NCOC) meeting a day earlier. 
The border points will be open only for the purpose of trade and the ban on the cross-border movement of people will remain in place until further notice.
“Gabd, Mand, Katagar, and Chedgi borders will remain open seven days a week, from morning till evening, as per mutually-agreed timings between both countries with effect from 5. July, 2020, only for trade... while ensuring all COVID-19-related SOPS and protocols (are followed),” the notification said about the border points which were temporarily opened for cargo on April 21.
Pakistan closed its borders with Iran on February 24, after the neighboring country reported surging rates of the infection.
Four days later, it reopened Taftan crossing to allow 300 stranded nationals, mostly traders, to re-enter Balochistan province.