Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) has signed 44 deals worth $8 billion at Expo 2020 Dubai that will transform the province into an investment and trade hub in the region, it's top officials say.
The third largest Pakistani province in terms of population, which is celebrating a month-long activities at the world's largest expo in Dubai, said the UAE and global investors have shown great interest to invest in the KPK tourism, industries, infrastructure, food processing, livestock, energy and power sectors.
The 44 memorandum of understandings were signed at the Investment Conference hosted by the KPK Board of Investment and Trade (BoIT) and the Government of KPK on the sidelines of Expo 2020 Dubai.
Shahab Ali Shah, additional chief secretary, presented investment projects and incentives framework to the investors attending the conference.
Energy and power, tourism, economic zones development and mines and minerals were some the sectors that gained the attention of international and the UAE investors who committed $8 billion of investment in the province.
CEOs of Samara Group, Mazaya Group, Jannat & A.J Group, Almasa Group and a number of international and Dubai-based investors expressed willingness to invest in various projects of KPK province.
Earlier, the Punjab and Sindh signed multi-billion dollars deals at the six-month long event in November and December, respectively, to promote investments in real estate, infrastructure and energy sectors.
Promoting key sectors at Expo
Taimur Jhagra, Provincial Minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Finance, said Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is promoting business and tourism in the region as it has unlimited tourism potential with picturesque sights and scenes, national parks and mountains and historical wonders.
"It is an opportune time for the world to start looking at KP as a lucrative investment opportunity. We are building a holistic investment ecosystem with opportunities in tourism, industries, energy and power, infrastructure, food processing livestock and other sector, ” Jhagra said in a statement to Khaleej Times on Tuesday.
The minister said the KPK government has undertaken many initiatives to develop a strategic framework to transform the region into a competitive, sustainable and inclusive trade and investment hub.
Elaborating the government initiatives to facilitate trade and businesses, Jhagra said the Swat Expressway was built under public-private partnership and now is being extended to other cities to promote economic growth.
"The KPK government has also introduced the first Special Economic Zones in Rashakai and elsewhere in the province, attracting investors to the industries established there," Jhagra said.
He said Marble City in Mohmand, Salt City in Karak, Mineral City in Buner have been established while Granite and Mineral City in Mansehra were being set up to create employment opportunities.
Hassan Daud Butt, CEO KP-BoIT, said one-window facility had been established under the provincial BoIT and was fully operational to facilitate the investors in the province. He said KPK government has endeavoured to develop a mutually beneficial business environment for investors, the local community and the government in order to achieve sustainable economic development in the region.
"KPK is naturally and culturally rich and we want to use the platform of Expo 2020 to invite the world to explore the breath-taking beauty of the region,” Butt said.
Shaukat Yousafzai, special assistant to chief minister on trade and industries; Abdul Karim Khan, member Provincial Assembly Ziaullah Bangash; Afzaal Mahmood, Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE; Amir Sultan Tareens, secretary for sports, tourism, archaeology, culture, museums and youth affairs; Kamran Ahmad Afridi, director-general, KPK Culture and Tourism Authority; Javed Khattak, CEO KPK Economic Zones Development and Management Company; and others attended the conference.
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