ISLAMABAD    -    Prime Minister Imran Khan has welcomed $240 million investment by Hong Kong-based port operator, Hutchison Port Holdings.

According to a statement issued by the PM Office, the issue was discussed in a meeting between a delegation of Hutchison Port Holdings, led by its Group Managing Director Eric Ip and Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Tuesday.

Imran Khan welcomed the investment from Hutchison Port Holdings and its commitment to support Pakistan’s economic prosperity. He reiterated the government’s commitment to focus on facilitating investment and ease of doing business, which would lead to economic growth and employment generation in the country.

Ambassador at Large for Foreign Investment Ali Jehangir Siddiqui, who was present in the meeting, stated that as a result of a fairly priced currency, Pakistan’s exports in terms of volumes were increasing and that necessitated the provision of additional container terminal capacity.

“This investment will support our export competitiveness and also result in greater revenue for both the federal exchequer and Karachi Port Trust,” he said.

Eric Ip apprised the prime minister of Hutchison Port Holdings’ fresh investment in Pakistan of approximately $240 million, which would make available a significant amount of new container terminal capacity at Karachi Port and raise Hutchison Ports’ total investment in Pakistan to $1 billion.

The investment would help take the number of Hutchison employees in the country to 3,000, he said.

The Prime Minister was also briefed on the development of Hutchison Port Holdings, its parent company CK Hutchison Holdings and the group’s commitment to play a pivotal role in facilitating economic growth in Pakistan as well as supporting the development of Karachi Port into a major hub for trade in Asia.

Hutchison Port Holdings is one of the world’s largest port companies with over 30,000 employees and operates 52 ports and terminals in 27 countries spanning Asia, the Middle East, Africa, Europe, the Americas and Australia. The company is headquartered in Hong Kong.

The delegation of Hutchison Ports included Andy Tsoi, Managing Director Middle East and Africa, Eric Ng, Business Director Middle East and Africa and leadership of the company’s Pakistan management.

Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood, Special Assistant to PM Syed Zulfiqar Abbas Bukhari, Board of Investment Chairman Zubair Haider Gilani and other senior officials were present in the meeting.

Meanwhile, Chief Executive International Islamic Bank (IIB) and Chairman Pak-Qatar Takaful Insurance Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Thani Al Thani has said that Pak-Qatar Takaful Insurance have expressed the desire to invest in real estate, housing and hospitality sectors of Pakistan.

He stated this during a meeting between Prime Minister Imran Khan and Chief Executive IIB and Chairman Pak-Qatar Takaful Insurance Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah Thani Al Thani here. Sheikh Ali bin Abdullah informed the Prime Minister that he intends to invest in hospitality industry and the planning is in an advanced stage.  He noted that Pak-Qatar Takaful has over 70 branches in Pakistan and is now interested in investing in other sectors.

Sheikh Ali greatly appreciated Prime Minister’s efforts of promoting peace and security in the region and wished well for his visit to Saudi Arabia aimed in this direction.

The Prime Minister reaffirmed the importance Pakistan attaches to its strong fraternal ties with Qatar and close cooperation between the two countries.

He expressed satisfaction over the positive trajectory of the relationship between Pakistan and Qatar especially after the visit of Amir of Qatar to Pakistan in June this year.