ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is expected to visit United Arab Emirates (UAE) within a couple of weeks, wherein issues related to investment in different sectors, country’s financial matters and PTCL’s pending payment are expected to be the top agenda items, well informed sources in Commerce Ministry told Business Recorder.

Finance Ministry has proposed establishment of a Joint Investment Fund to be financed by seven country specific joint investment companies. E&Y has already submitted feasibility for the establishment of Joint Investment Company.

Respective Boards of these companies have already given informal consent for establishment of Joint Investment Fund, except CEO of Pak-Iran Joint Investment Company, keeping in view sanctions on Iran. A feasibility study has suggested certain exemptions for which FBR has been requested to ensure sustainability of the Fund.

Regarding investment in mining sector, a term sheet is to be finalised by the Petroleum Division for EL, 302 and EL, 303,

On investment cooperation in the port operations projects, Ministry of Maritime Affairs (MoMA) has proposed revenue sharing model to execute the dredging project whereas UAE side prefers the royalty model with extension in Concession Agreement.

PM Shehbaz stresses enhanced Pak-UAE economic ties

MoMA noted that it is ready to consider extension in Concession Agreement but only if revenue sharing model is considered by the UAE side. However, UAE side is not interested in any model other than the royalty model. UAE has clubbed this project with developing Coastal Economic Zone and development of a dedicated freight corridor. MoMA will share the progress with SIFC and concerned Cabinet Committee for further guidance.

On investment cooperation in the wastewater treatment project, Ministry of Climate Change has shared the following two proposals: (i) Mehmood Booti Project under RUDA (Rural Urban Development Authority) Punjab with a cost of $180 million; and (ii) TP-4 (Wastewater Treatment Plant 4) Sindh project with a cost of $200 million.

UAE side shared both projects with their subsidiary but no interest has been shown so far in them.

MoMA has been directed to explore other areas as well, as the MoU to give the option to explore other opportunities. The sources said for investment cooperation in food and agriculture sector, Ministry of National Food Security and Research has established contact with the UAE side. Potential of food sector was pitched to the UAE side.

In response, UAE side shared list of six companies for business cooperation. - 19 projects were identified whereas 14 projects were short-listed by the Ministry. Provinces have been asked to make the projects bankable by including land component, business model; etc., as per the guidelines provided by SIFC.

At a recent meeting on MoUs signed between Pakistan and UAE, presided over by the Commerce Minister Jam Kamal as Focal Minister, following decisions were taken: (i) Ministries/ Departments to expedite the implementation of MoUs and suggest way forward to convert these MoUs in marketable projects; (ii) Ministries to actively liaise with Provincial Government’s to consolidate marketable projects which can be offered to UAE side; (iii) Ministries can hire the services of Consultants to improve quality of project proposals; and (iv) projects will be segregated into 2-categories, based on their maturity level. Special meetings will be convened to discuss less mature projects to expedite working on them.

During the meeting Secretary Railways revealed that UAE side has linked dedicated freight corridor with outcome of negotiations of dredging project. It was decided that UAE side will be informed that these two projects are completely independent and will be negotiated and finalised separately.

The meeting was further informed that UAE has not been responding to the communication of Ministry/ NHA. Ministry requested to share sectoral nominee from the UAE side.

MoFA, sources said, advised Communication Ministry to share their concerns with them for onward sharing with UAE side.

While discussing progress of MoMA MoU, Jam Kamal observed that MoFA may approach the UAE side to invite them for a meeting to discuss way forward on signed MoUs. Pakistani team can alternatively visit UAE.

He further stated that B2B interactions will be encouraged to identify other areas of cooperation and to speed up bilateral economic cooperation.

Investment proposals of power sector like solar, wind, hydro and power transmission will also be shared with UAE side during the forthcoming visit of Prime Minister.

Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), which has taken a lead role in all key affairs of economy, has asked all the Ministries to share talking points on projects on the relevant MoU signed with UAE by the concerned Ministry along with updated teasers as per format shared with the latter.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2024

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Ali May 19, 2024 03:32pm
UAE doesn’t invest in Pakistan. It’s Pakistan’s corrupt that invest in useless desert ;)
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test May 19, 2024 03:48pm
Our elite class are genetically beggars who always keep begging here there everywhere. Go to China ask them to move industries to Pakistan in return give China air bases, military bases & naval bases.
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Doc Asad May 19, 2024 04:50pm
tired of just talk and talk and talk ...its been years , they all talk but nill practically
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