Dubai, Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Ameer Haider Khan Hoti addressing Business Investment Seminar at Hotel Sherton Dubai. ANP UAE Chief and Senator Nabi Bangash also seen in picture

CM of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa strikes a positive note at
Dubai conference

Dubai: The Chief Minister of the militancy-ridden Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK)
province in Pakistan has urged investors, especially overseas Pakistanis, to
invest in the province which now offers great opportunities in various fields.

"We need your support as we are passing through testing times due to militancy,
terrorism and recent floods," said Amir Haider Khan Hoti, Chief Minister of the
KPK while addressing a gathering at the Investment and Business Conference held
in Dubai. The event was organised by ANP UAE chapter headed by prominent Dubai-based Pakistani
businessman, Senator Abdul Abdul Nabi Bangash. Leading Pakistani businessmen and
diplomats, including Pakistani Consul General in Dubai, Tariq Iqbal Somoro, was
also present.

Hoti, who is the youngest chief minister in Pakistan and belongs to the
libral Awami National Party (ANP) ruling in KPK, presented a modern and liberal
outlook of his province which is otherwise known as hub of militancy and
terrorism.

"I want to eliminate the wrong impression that the whole province is on fire. It
is absolutely wrong as we are in full control now and have opened up our
province for foreign investment, offering great business potential in different
fields," he said.

He said that potential investors can safely invest their money in various
sectors including: minerals, hydro, agriculture, housing, tourism and
infrastructure development. "Ours is the smallest province of Pakistan but have
great untapped natural resources," he said.

‘Means of living’

Hoti acknowledged that there was problem of law and order and militancy but
urged that the situation can only be improved with economic growth and it can be
achieved only with foreign investment. "If we want peace in the area and the
region, we have to provide means of living to people through these testing times
as ours is a frontline province in the war against terrorism," he added.

"Militancy and then recent floods have taken everything away from us but, our
resolve has not been dampened as we are again focused on development and have
finalised long term development plan for the years 2010-2017," Hoti said.

He urged the international community to do more and fulfill their promises to
prpvide economic relief to the people who suffered due to war against terrorism
and military operations. "We had almost lost to militants three year ago but now
the situation has reversed and we are in total command as militants are on the
run due to massive military operations," he noted.

The KPK offers great incentives for investment including concessions on
investments, hundred per cent ownership, free industrial states and projects on
build-operate and transfer (BOT) basis).

Great opportunity

Hoti said there is great opportunity for investors to invest in the proposed
Reconstruction Opportunity Zones (ROZs) which will be set up with the help of
the US in the KPK and tribal areas in a bid to provide economic activity to the
people of the area. "The ROZs bill is in the US Senate and we hope it will be
approved soon. Investors in the ROZs will get direct access to the US market,"
he added.

Hoti said it is his government’s policy to encourage investors to invest and to
provide them fast track facilitation and ensure early removal of any hurdles.
"It is our commitment to interested investors that we will set the shorted time
frame between an investor’s expression of interest and the government’s response
in terms of facilitation for investment in the province. He also offered to
arrange visits of potential investors to the KPK to further discuss investment
opportunities.

Bilateral trade between the UAE and Pakistan is expected to hit a record $9
billion (Dh33.1 billion) this year.