ISLAMABAD (APP) - Federal Minister for Investment, Senator Waqar Ahmed Khan on Saturday said that the present government was engaged in initiating a number of policies to attract investments into Pakistan. We have recently announced a draft of the new Investment Policy and have made substantial progress on Special Economic Zones, he said while addressing the Inaugural Ceremony of the 11th ISAM-2009 symposium here. He said that the proposed investment policy draft was presented to initiate public private dialogue, adding that the ministry has received encouraging and highly positive feedback on the policy. The government has also introduced a number of measures to facilitate and strengthen the move towards competitiveness, he said adding that with these initiatives, Pakistan will attract substantial investments annually. He said that the government was continuously engaged in negotiating bilateral investment treaties (BITs) with leading economies of the world. Highlighting the scope of materials technology, Waqar said, Pakistan was a developing country, and was rich in material resources. We are keen to share information, sponsor joint projects and to benefit from exchange visits and training programs, he said adding that in particular, the government would like to have joint ventures involving design, development and engineering capabilities in collaboration with various engineering houses of the world through the acquisition of technical know-how and licensing. Senator Waqar congratulated the organizers of the symposium which provided a common platform to the participants from country and abroad to exchange information, share their ideas, experiences, expertise on the materials that are being used across the globe. Chairman of the Symposium, Karim Ahmed and the Secretary of the Symposium, Dr. Shaheed hailed the efforts of the present government for their pro-investment policy initiatives and assured the minister of their full cooperation. The chairman apprised the audience that advanced materials was a field of great intellectual challenge. Faced with increased demands for product performance and reliability, design engineers continually evaluate materials that can provide the answers to new demands, he added. These answers may take the form of new alloys, or modified grades or even a combination of materials that offer advantages for specific applications. Most manufacturers are researching for improved innovative ways of making their products, he said adding that the challenges are to conceive, design and qualify products that work better, last longer and are cost effective; which meant smaller in size, stronger in strength, more fatigue resistant, more creep resistant and user friendly materials. The ISAM event has become one of the prime international platforms at which materials engineers and scientists keep themselves up-to-date with recent technologies and new developments. During the Symposium, 14 Keynote lectures, 45 Oral presentations and 132 posters are to be presented by researchers. In all, 191 Papers will be presented by 20 foreign and 171 local researchers. In addition, one day workshop on Smart Materials is also being arranged on 10th April, 2009.