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Caretaker PM Kakar sees potential for international investors in Pakistan’s mineral sector

  • Addresses signing ceremony of joint venture agreement between Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation and US-based Miracle Saltworks Collective Inc. for state-of-the-art crushing and packaging plant in the country
Published February 20, 2024

Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar on Tuesday showcased Pakistan’s mineral sector as a potential avenue for international investors, reassuring government’s all-out support to the investors.

Addressing the signing ceremony of a joint venture agreement between Pakistan Mineral Development Corporation (PMDC) and US-based Miracle Saltworks Collective Inc. (MSCI) for setting up a state-of-the-art crushing and packaging plant in the country, Kakar said the agreement not only paves the way for the export of our priced pink rock salt, “but also symbolises a landmark achievement for our nation’s investment climate.”

“Signing the agreement will further strengthen the mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

Kakar said that MSCI’s decision to invest $200 million in Pakistan is a “resounding vote of confidence” for the government’s economic policies. “This is also a testament to the stability and security that Pakistan offers as an investment destination.”

The caretaker prime minister was hopeful that with the latest investment, Pakistan will soon commence exporting a quality product. “This will pave the way for further opportunities in the mineral sector,” he said.

Addressing international investors, the interim PM said that the scope of cooperation should go beyond the pink salt project.

Himalayan pink salt: US co says planning to invest $200m

“We should utilise the full potential of the mining sector to become the new driver of Pakistan’s economic growth,” he said.

Kakar said that his government has introduced comprehensive reforms to create a level playing field for investment and remains committed to extending support to international investors.

Talking about the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), the caretaker prime minister said that through SIFC the government is promoting investment in energy, mines and minerals, information technology, agriculture and livestock sector.

US-Pakistan relations

On Pakistan-US bilateral relations, PM Kakar said that Pakistan share long-lasting and deep relations with the United States.

“I see a transformation from a security perspective to an economic perspective from the strides of the US. Pakistan is not just a geostrategic location, which carries importance, it is a geo-economic offer,” he said while highlighting the mineral reserve potential of his country.

Kakar said that Pakistan needs to move away from exporting raw materials and adopt value-addition. “Until and unless we have value-addition we cannot transform economically like Chile, Australia and Canada,” he said.

Last year in August, PMDC under the control of the Ministry of Energy (Petroleum Division) and MSCI, based in Wisconsin, USA, signed a non-binding memorandum of understanding (MoU) to establish a state-of-the-art pink rock salt crushing and packaging facility for export purposes under the theme of “Pink Prosperity”.

Addressing the ceremony on Tuesday, Caretaker Minister for Energy Muhammad Ali congratulated PMDC and MSCI for realizing the joint venture.

“This will pave the way for the export and processing of pink salt in Pakistan,” he said. “The project will lead to a $200 million investment in the industry in Pakistan and assures the growing confidence of international investors in the country’s pink salt industry.

He shared that the estimated pink salt reserves in Pakistan stand at over 50 billion tons, out of which only 4 million tons are extracted annually. “The potential in the industry is unlimited,” he said.

Ali said that the government targets to increase the share of minerals in Pakistan from currently 1% to 5% in the next five years.

Highlighting the potential of the overall mineral sector in Pakistan, Muhammad Ali said that the Chagai region in Pakistan hosts more than 48 prospects and deposits of copper and gold, including Reko Diq and Saindak.

“We are currently already producing, copper, silver, and lead among others, and we have reserves that remain unexplored of minerals including rare earth elements, lithium, nickel and cobalt,” he said.

“We have seen a tremendous rise in prices and demand of some of these minerals. So the potential for the country is tremendous going forward,” said the caretaker minister.

He said that the government remains committed and has prioritised the mineral sector. “In the future, we will have a lot more investment in the pink rock salt and other mineral resources in the country,” he said.

Comments

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Az_Iz Feb 20, 2024 06:00pm
Pretty good. Let's hope, it becomes successful.
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