Pakistan’s new Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), a hybrid civil-military forum, has approved 28 projects worth billions of dollars, which could be offered to Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries for investment, according to a local media report.

The approved schemes are in the food, agriculture, information technology, mines and minerals, petroleum and power sectors, The Express Tribune reported.

They include cattle farms, a $10 billion Saudi Aramco refinery, explorations of copper and gold in Chagai, and the Thar Coal Rail connectivity scheme.

Amendment to several laws will provide fast-track execution of the initially approved projects, while the proposed Pakistan Sovereign Wealth Fund will provide equity to the SIFC-approved projects.

The government has identified 23 countries for pitching these projects, but the focus would be on Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Qatar and Bahrain, the report said.

It said the projects could face challenges at the execution stage, citing as an example, the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project, where Pakistan and China planned a total of $62 billion investments but less than $28 billion has been finalised.

(Writing by P Deol; Editing by Anoop Menon)