ISLAMABAD: A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the Board of Investment (BOI) of Pakistan and the Economic Development Board, Kingdom of Bahrain will be signed during the second session of Pak-Bahrain Joint Ministerial Commission (JMC) for cooperation between the two promotion agencies.
The objective of this MoU is to provide a framework within which both countries can develop and undertake collaborative activities and projects; share knowledge and have integrated technical exchange and assistance in areas of mutual interest.
The BOI being the premier investment promotion agency of Pakistan working under the administrative control of the Prime Minister's Office is mandated to promote and facilitate both local and foreign investment and has initiated the MoU.
The second session of Pak-Bahrain JMC is scheduled to be held on 28-29 July, 2021 in Manama, Bahrain.
The Bahrain side will be chaired by Minister of Foreign Affairs, Dr Abdul Latif Bin Rashid Al Zayani, and co-chaired by Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi from Pakistan.
The delegation from Pakistan will comprise several high officials from the BOI, the Petroleum Division, the Ministry of Commerce, the Ministry of Economic Affairs, and the Ministry of Overseas Pakistanis and Human Resource Development.
The meeting will focus on bilateral cooperation in various sectors including political, defence, economic, commerce, finance and banking, industry, public health, overseas employment, higher education, science and technology, information, culture and arts, agriculture and livestock, cultural cooperation, and parliamentary exchanges.
In regards to promoting trade and business development, some sectors of interest include manufacturing, financial services, tourism, healthcare and education, logistics, information and communication technology, and vocational training.
Previously, the first session of the Pak-Bahrain JMC was held on 5-6 February 2017, at Islamabad.
During the first session, there was a consensus that volume of bilateral trade is much below the potential of both countries and future prospects in this regard were discussed.
The Pakistani side also proposed to offer Special Economic Zones in Pakistan for investors of Bahrain, which was well received by the Bahraini side.
The volume of bilateral trade between the two countries stood at $117.23 million in 2019-2020.
Pakistan's exports to Bahrain include rice, cotton yarn, textured yarn, printing ink etc. Whereas, major imports from Bahrain include ferrous waste and scrap, iron or steel and petroleum bitumen. This meeting will be a major breakthrough in terms of showcasing Pakistan's lucrative investment opportunities to Bahrain.
Pakistan has adopted a very liberal and investor-friendly investment policy, which provides no restriction on remitting capital. All sectors are open for investment and equal treatment is given to local and foreign investors.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021