Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has said that Britain and Pakistan need to work closely to further enhance their partnership in diverse areas mainly in trade, investment with a view to eliminate militancy and terrorism from Pakistan and promote peace and security of the region and the world, says a press release received from London here today.
He was speaking to a delegation of British businessmen headed by Mr. Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS) who called on him here today.
Those who attended among others included representatives and CEOs of well known companies and business groups namely Standard Chartered, Mott MacDonald, JCB, Shell, Lagan, Mabey Bridge and Bestway.
Briefing the media Spokesperson to the President Mr Farhatullah Babar said that During the meeting president invited British businessmen to invest in Pakistan’s infrastructure projects on build-own-and-operate (BOO) basis, Mr. Babar informed. , offering to set up special industrial zone in the country where the foreign investors will be provided with tax incentives, captive power and the facilities to export their products.
The President emphasized on trade not aid to create job opportunities for the youth of the country and said that 65 % of the country’s population comprised of young population who looked for jobs and opportunities which had been destroyed by the war on militancy. A jobless and idle youth is likely to join the ranks of extremists unless he is provided with opportunities that gave him hope for the future, he said. The President said that he was asking the world community for helping Pakistan recover its shattered economy through opportunities for greater trade and market access and not just aid.
President Zardari gave a futuristic concept of investment during the meeting with British financial and investment giants to help Pakistan overcome its energy shortages through financing and investments in major energy and infrastructure projects.
President Zardari, who held wide ranging talks with the delegation to further strengthen the bilateral ties, invited the business and investment houses of United kingdom to take advantage of the liberal investment regime as well as the investment-friendly environment in Pakistan, with no restrictions on equity and repatriation of capital gains.
President Zardari said Pakistan, with its geo-strategic location and a deep seaport at Gwadar, offers tremendous opportunities of trade and investment.
The President said Pakistan will also welcome British investments in other sectors such as establishment of cold storage as well as grain storage facilities, setting up of agro based industries. Energy sector, Infrastructure development, Agriculture and agro-based industry, Construction technologies, and Health and education.
Mr. Martin Donnelly, Permanent Secretary UK Department of Business Innovation and Skills thanked the President for sharing his vision on business and trade opportunities. He said that British companies are interested in Pakistan and he would soon be visiting Pakistan with a delegation of businessmen from United Kingdom.
British High Commissioner to Pakistan Sir Adam Thomson, Secretary General Mr. Salman Farouqi, High Commissioner Mr. Wajid Shamsul Hassan, Spokesperson Mr. Farhatullah Babar and other senior officials were also present in the meeting.
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