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Balochistan turns investor-friendly.

The Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan are implementing a number of economic development projects.

Dubai: The government is trying to establish friendly atmosphere for investors in Balochistan, provincial minister for Planning & Development Dr Hameed Khan Achakzai told Khaleej Times on the sidelines of 'Investing in Gwadar' conference in Dubai on Wednesday.

The province, which is rich in natural resources, has a lot to offer foreign investors. Talking about the one-day event the minister said: "This is a momentous event in joining hands with international investors to exploit economic opportunities in Balochistan, with its natural resources and strategic location."

The minister said, the Governments of Pakistan and Balochistan are implementing a number of economic development projects, with particular reference to Gwadar and the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor. These projects are worth $860 million, he added.

The minister said: "Since China is not only our trade partner but a reliable, closest and trustworthy friend, we can provide six key exit routes to China through Afghanistan to Central Asia at Torkham, Wana, Gomal, Badini, Chaman and to Iran through Taftan." In fact these exit points are beneficial for all trade partners, he added.

"We are aware that improvements in cross-border infrastructure can facilitate trade, which can act as an engine of growth. Balochistan, due to its strategic location can become a trading centre. Considerable hardware and software investments are being made to make Gwadar an emerging opportunity. However, the central force for economic growth is the private sector, which requires a good investment climate and which encourages firms to invest and create jobs."

The government is in the process of establishing a mechanism of public-private partnerships, he said, adding that key areas of investment under public private partnerships, in Gwadar and in Balochistan, could include transshipment, fisheries, industries, tourism, power & energy, communication infrastructure including roads and railways, and development of mines and minerals.

The role of Gwadar in tapping investment opportunities in Balochistan and turning them into sustainable economic activities is encouraging because the government has already made substantial investments to lay the foundation for investments from across the globe.

abdulbasit@khaleejtimes.com

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Geographic Code:9PAKI
Date:Mar 25, 2015
Words:363
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