Pakistani market entices Dubai-based firms | The Express Tribune


KARACHI:

The Pakistani market has been successfully attracting the attention of Dubai-based firms as businessmen from the Middle Eastern city are continuously exploring opportunities to invest in diverse areas of the country such as technology, retail, aviation, agriculture and real estate.

According to a report from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), UAE-based firms made an investment of around $220 million in the past five years.

During the past couple of years, Pakistan witnessed a transformation, which included step-by-step improvement in ease of doing business, digitisation of local economy and investor-friendly policies, it added.

Validating the perception, Ambassador of UAE in Pakistan Hamad Obaid Ibrahim Salem Al-Zaabi revealed that Dubai-based investors were keen to enter Pakistan and invest in various sectors of the country.

The envoy, during his recent visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry, agreed that massive investment potential existed in all provinces of the country, particularly in agriculture, textile and sports sectors.

Moreover, Majid Al Futtaim Group – a leading UAE-based investor and operator of Carrefour in Pakistan – has also planned to expand its retail operations in Gujranwala.

Besides bringing international practices in Pakistan, it has contributed significantly to the economy by investing around Rs9 billion. It has also paid around Rs6.5 billion as taxes. According to Carrefour Pakistan Country Manager Umer Lodhi, the retail store supported the local economy by providing employment to more than 3,500 Pakistani nationals.

Around 99% of the products were sourced locally from more than 700 suppliers to ensure their success and prosperity, he underlined.

Another sector which is luring the UAE-based investors in Pakistan is the real estate, mainly because of the incentives given by the government to the housing and construction segments.

Diyár Homes Limited – a Dubai-based real estate company – has planned to invest $30 million in Lahore. In this regard, land had been purchased to set up mega housing projects. Similarly, Vision Tech (Dubai-based firm) has announced its plan to invest in the real estate sector of Pakistan. It will launching an online platform – named Shaariq.com – to bridge the digital divide in real estate.

“Dubai-based firms see opportunities in Pakistan but the regulatory environment is challenging here,” said an entrepreneur and property developer Zeeshan Shah who has operations in Dubai, England and Pakistan.

 

Published in The Express Tribune, December 18th, 2021.

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