KARACHI: Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE has said public and private sector Pakistani companies had signed “dozens” of investment agreements since the opening of the Expo 2020 Dubai in October 2021.
Exhibitors from almost 200 countries, including Pakistan, are participating in the mega event, with many countries and companies looking to the expo — the first major global event open to visitors since the coronavirus pandemic — to boost trade and investment.
The Pakistan Pavilion was officially inaugurated by President Dr. Arif Alvi on October 9. The Expo itself started on October 1 and will last till March 31, 2022. The Pakistani commerce minister said last month over half a million people had visited the Pakistan Pavilion so far.
“So far, dozens of MoUs (Memorandum of Understanding) have been signed for cooperation, collaboration and investment in the fields of infrastructure, housing, water management, waste management, trade in goods and services as well as investment in various fields,” Afzaal Mahmood, Pakistan’s ambassador to the UAE, told Arab News in an exclusive interview this week.
“The Bazar at the Pavilion is also helpful in showcasing Pakistani exports,” he added.
An entire section at the Pakistan Pavilion is a dedicated space where investors are educated about investment opportunities in Pakistan. Each month, a new Pakistani province or region comes in the spotlight at the Pavilion, with exhibits that showcase its trade and investment potential.
“The federal and provincial governments of Pakistan are offering investment opportunities in various sectors, including infrastructure, energy, manufacturing, housing and tourism to foreign investors,” the envoy said. “The Embassy and Consulate General of Pakistan are reaching out to the business community to create awareness about investment opportunities in Pakistan.”
Last month, the government of Pakistan’s Sindh province signed six agreements with various investors at the Sindh Investment Conference in Dubai. Brother Gas UAE, a major oil and gas company in Dubai, has also signed an agreement to invest $15 million to set up a bottling plant at a Special Economic Zone in Faisalabad.
The central government as well as the governments of Balochistan, Punjab and Sindh have organized various events on the sidelines of Expo-2020 to attract the business community.
The governments of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan are looking to promote their potential through the expo, ambassador Mahmood said, with special offers being deliberated to attract investment through the Special Economic and Export Processing Zones being developed under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).
“We are targeting larger number companies within the Gulf Region and beyond,” the envoy said, “through networking and marketing events at the Pakistan Pavilion and other venues in the UAE.”