TARBELA GHAZI/ISLAMABAD -  Malaysia’s former prime minister Abdullah Ahmed Bravi on Wednesday visited Ghazi to inspect the site of Ghazi Industrial Estate and signed an MoU to invest Rs1 billion for establishment of an industry.

According to the details, Bravi and his wife paid a visit to Ghazi along with various officials of the central government in order to inspect the site of Ghazi Industrial State. MPA Faisal Zaman, Haripur District Nazim Adil Islam and Tehsil Nazim Aslam Hayat Khan were also present on the occasion.

District Nazim Adil briefed the Malaysian delegation regarding the Ghazi Industrial Estate which is all set to be established at village Bhai, some 5 kilometer away from Tehsil Head Quarter Ghazi. The former Malayasian prime minister took a keen interest in the industrial estate and intended to invest Rs1 billion initially in the Ghazi Industrial Estate.

Earlier, Bravi also called on Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervaiz Khatak where he discussed his investment plan with the chief minister and also signed an MoU.

It is pertinent to mention here that Ghazi Industrial Estate had been delaying till now from 1993 after acquirement of its land due to one and other political reason. After inclusion of the Ghazi Industrial Estate in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), various local and foreign investors are showing willingness to investment in the industrial estate.

Malaysian companies keen

to invest in Pakistan

on the other hand, Malaysia’s former prime minister Abdullah Ahmad Badawi visited the ICCI and said that many Malaysian companies are keen to do business in Pakistan and both countries should focus on close collaboration for promoting joint ventures.

He further said the Malaysian delegation has come to Pakistan to explore new avenues of bilateral cooperation. He said the SMEs in Malaysia were driving force for its economic development and urged that both countries should develop close links between their SMEs to further strengthen their economies.

He said Pakistan and Malaysia have good potential to cooperate in halal industry, oil & gas sectors, Islamic financing, health care and many other sectors. He said Pakistan and Malaysia were stakeholders in China’s One Belt One Road project and it was a good opportunity for both countries to work together to capitalise on this mega project for improving their economies.

He further said Pakistan could get better access to ASEAN region through Malaysia while Malaysia could get easy access to South Asia market through Pakistan. Thus close cooperation would be mutually beneficial for both countries, he added. He said Malaysia’s total trade was around $400 billion, but its trade with Pakistan was not satisfactory and urged that both countries should develop strong business linkages between their private sectors to improve two-way trade volume.

On the occasion, ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said that Pakistan and Malaysia had signed Free Trade Agreement (FTA) in 2007 which was meant for boosting bilateral trade. However, the FTA has not produced the desired results so far as Pakistan’s exports to Malaysia in 2014 were just $233 million while Malaysia’s exports to Pakistan were $1.2 billion.

He said the main reason of low trade volume was that both countries were doing trade in limited items as Pakistan’s main exports to Malaysia were comprised of rice, maize, cotton, textiles and vegetables whereas Malaysia’s major exports to Pakistan included palm oil, fibre board, rubber and electrical & electronic equipment. He stressed that both countries should focus on diversification of trade to achieve better results.

He said many Pakistani products including non-basmati rice, wheat, mangoes, halal food, seafood, meat products, cutlery & sports goods, spices, handicrafts, light engineering goods, hospital & surgical equipment, pharmaceuticals and gems & jewellery could find good market in Malaysia and it should focus on importing these products from Pakistan.

He said Malaysia has great scope to invest in Pakistan’s various sectors including palm oil cultivation & refining, construction of low cost housing schemes and highways, livestock & dairy, energy, education, transportation, IT, ship breaking, food processing, sports goods and halal industry.

He urged that more Malaysian investors should visit Pakistan to explore opportunities of investment and joint ventures in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) projects and other areas of interest.