KARACHI - There are vast investment opportunities in Sindh, particularly in energy, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and in various other sectors.

This was stated by Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah while delivering his presidential speech at Iran-Pakistan Business Forum organised at a local hotel on Tuesday.

The program was attended by a large number of Iranian businessmen led by Iran’s Foreign Minister Dr Javad Zarif.

He said Foreign Minister Dr Javad is a seasoned diplomat and a scholarly man and he has brought the high-level delegation of leading businessmen of Iran to explore investment opportunities in Sindh and boost trade between the two countries.

“His personal interest, experience and stature would definitely make difference in his endeavors,” he said. Murad said there were vast investment opportunities in Sindh, particularly in energy, infrastructure development, education, health, agriculture and in various other sectors.

“We have (Sindh government) introduced Public Private Partnership concept which is producing best results,” he said and added that some projects has launched under the PPP mode were Hyderabad-Mirpurkhas Road, Jhirk-Mulakatiar bridge on River Indus and various others.

He said new projects being launched under the PPP mode is Kandhkot - Ghotki Bridge on River Indus. The chief minister said that trade between the two countries showed 33 percent growth as compared to the previous year.

Over last nine months, as a result of the facilities provided by the Iranian side to Pakistani rice exporters, the volume of Pakistani rice export to Iran has jumped up by 42 percent, he added.

“In Sindh, Sukkur and Larkana divisions are rice producing divisions, Mirpurkhas, Hyderabad and Shaheed Benazirabad division are rich in mango production, Larkana has guava,” he said and suggested investment in agriculture sector.

Bilateral Banking ties between the two countries are developing. “I know the process is very slow but hope it would be done,” he said and added he knows banking relations are necessary to expand bilateral trade which currently stands at $1.2 billion. The target is to increase it to $5 billion per annum over the next few years, he added.

Murad recalled that President Asif Ali Zardari had launched Iran-Pakistan (IP) gas pipeline project, now it has been delayed. He hoped that the Iranian businessmen would take benefit from investment opportunities in Sindh and sure the projects would be completed.