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Pakistan

PM Shehbaz urges Turkiye to invest in Pakistan's mega solar project

  • Project aimed at generating 10,000 megawatts of energy for the country
Published November 26, 2022 Updated November 27, 2022
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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday urged Turkish investors to pour money in Pakistan's mega solar project that will generate 10,000 megawatts of energy for the country.

Speaking to Turkish businessmen at the Pakistan-Turkiye business council in Istanbul, he stated that Pakistan endured an energy import bill of $27 billion in fiscal year 2021-22.

“This is an unsustainable amount. Hence, we have decided that we want to slash the energy import bill. We rolled out our vision of creating 10,000 MW solar power scheme in Pakistan.

“We will fulfil this vision with investment from Turkiye, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the UAE,” he said.

The PM promised to create conducive environment for investors.

“My investor is my master. I will hold a special conference in Pakistan for Turkish officials to showcase the potential of the scheme,” he stressed.

All investors will be paid within 60 days in a transparent manner, the PM said. This project will be a gateway to a new order in Pakistan, he stated.

“It will save us from importing expensive crude oil,” he said.

According to him, foreign companies are “more than eager to enter Pakistan however lack of payments and return on investment discourage them from operating in the country.”

The summaries and feasibility studies need to be materialised to create win-win situation

He underlined that money flows to places where it is safe and secure.

Pakistan has also signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to enhance bilateral trade volume from nearly $1 billion to $5 billion in three years, the PM underlined. Turkiye has $250 billion annual trade but Pakistan’s share in it is negligible.

He further stated that the world was undergoing an energy crisis and developing countries like Pakistan were suffering. Similarly, there is also a shortage of wheat and fertiliser.

“I appreciate Turkiye President Tayyip Erdogan for playing a massive role in restarting grain shipments from Ukraine to rest of the world,” he said.

In a tweet, Information Minister Marriyum Aurangzeb wrote "PM Shehbaz addressed Pak-Turkiye BC and drew attention towards immense untapped business and trade aspects between two countries, persuaded Turkish business community about Pakistan government's unflinching support and vowed to herald new era of Trade diplomacy."

Meeting with ECO Trade and Development Bank officials

Separately, in a meeting with ECO Trade and Development Bank President Yalcin Yuksel, PM Shehbaz called for establishing railway connectivity between Istanbul to Pakistan with “some initial investment”.

“It will have huge economic benefits. We can also connect Central Asian Countries to Peshawar and Gwadar via Afghanistan,” he stated. “If we can have road links from Central Asian states to Pakistan, they will prove to be a game changer.”

He underlined that such links could help transport oil and gas from Central Asian states to Gwadar where they could be converted to liquefied natural gas (LNG) and exported to the rest of the world.

The PM urged Yuksel to host ECO countries to enhance regional cooperation. PM Shehbaz also invited Yuksel to Pakistan.

PM Shehbaz reached Turkiye on Friday on a two-day official visit on invitation of President Erdogan. The PM will hold wide-ranging discussions encompassing bilateral relations, the regional situation and other issues of common interest.

The PM last visited Türkiye in May-June 2022.

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