Islamabad: Prime Minister Syed Yousaf Raza Gilani reiterated that Pakistan is looking for trade with the world to be able to achieve economic self reliance. Pakistan, he said, welcomes foreign investment in various sectors and has designed its policy accordingly with multiple incentives for the investors. The Prime Minister was talking to the Norwegian Business delegation here at the Prime Minister’s House today. The delegation is currently in Pakistan to explore possibilities of investment as well as to enhance trade between Norway and Pakistan.
The Prime Minister said that Pakistan would extend complete support to the initiative of TELENOR for organizing the “Investment Conference on opportunities in Pakistan” in Norway. The Board of Investment (BOI), Trade Development Authority (TDA), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Commerce, he said, would be directed to cooperate in this effort.
The Prime Minister expressed confidence that the visit of the Norwegian business delegation would prove fruitful for both the countries and pave the way for enhancing the trade volume. He thanked the Government and the people of Norway for the assistance given during the recent floods and lauded the Government of Norway’s ten-years assistance program for the rehabilitation of the flood affectees.
The Prime Minister assured the delegation that maximum security would be extended to the Norwegian investors as being given to a large number of foreign companies already working in Pakistan. The menace of terrorism, he said, could be affectively confronted through socio-economic development and creation of economic opportunities particularly in the under developed areas.
The Prime Minister said that while very cordial relations exist between the Governments of the two countries, the exchange of parliamentary and business delegations would further boost the bilateral ties between Norway and Pakistan. These contacts, he added, would facilitate the people to people contacts essential to establish long-term relationship.
The leader of the Norwegian Business Delegation, Mr. Amir Jawed Sheikh said that it was the Prime Minister’s initiative that the visit of the delegation could materialize and assured that the Norwegian Businessmen would make the best use of this visit to increase investment and trade between the two countries.
The Norwegian Ambassador in Pakistan apprised the Prime Minister that the Norwegian mobile company TELENOR intends to organize the first “Investment Conference on opportunities in Pakistan” in Norway in the near future and hoped that the concerned Pakistani organizations would participate in this endeavour.
The members of the delegation which included Mrs. Hanne Lovstad, CEO of LEBARA and Mr. Tom Arne Nyborg of Dreker and Pendant, said that the potential of trade between the two countries are enormous. They stressed upon the need to reactivate the Chambers of Commerce and Industries in both the countries to interact closely and take advantage of the opportunities. The members further said that they had explored substantial opportunities for Norwegian investment in the Housing, IT and oil and gas sectors in Pakistan.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Zafar Mahmood, Secretary Commerce, Mr. Anisul Hassnain, Secretary Board of Investment and the Ambassador of Pakistan in Norway, Mr. Faiz Mohammad Khoso.-NNI