Korean giant Lotte expanding investment in Pakistan

ISLAMABAD :   South Korean companies presently in India will be opening offices in Pakistan, while another South Korean giant, POSCO, has also indicated interest in investing significantly in Pakistan s economy this year. This is indicative of the fact that Pakistan holds massive potential for foreign investment.
This was stated by Mr. In-Ki Lee, the Consul General of South Korea posted in Karachi, who jointly visited the Federation of Pakistan Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FPCCI) Head Office at Karachi on Wednesday, January 4, 2012, with Shaukat Mukaddam, the Ambassador of Pakistan in Seoul, and met leading members of the business community.
The visiting dignitaries were welcomed by Tariq Sayeed, who is currently VP of CACCI, and has formerly been President of both FPCCI and SAARC CCI; and FPCCI-Vice Presidents, Dawood Usman Jakhura, Akbar Khan and Engineer Usman Shaikh. The meeting was also attended by Mr. Shakil Dhingra, VP (Elect) FPCCI, and Syed Masood Alam Rizvi, Secretary General-FPCCI.
While thanking the guests for visiting the Federation House, Tariq Sayeed suggested holding bi-annual meetings of the Pak-Korea Joint Business Council in Pakistan and South Korea to make the JBC a more active forum.
He further stressed the importance of attracting investment in the form of Joint ventures from Korea to Pakistan. Sayeed alleviated fears of foreign investors regarding the law and order situation in Pakistan, saying that the situation on ground was much better than media perceptions.
He stated that Pakistan was looking eastwards to expand its trade and economic relations, and Korea constituted a vital part of this process. He said that the balance of trade favoring one country or the other should not be worrisome; our focus should be expansion in overall trade.
Tariq Sayeed suggested that single-country exhibitions be held in Pakistan and South Korea, while assuring the Korean investors of reciprocal facilities in Pakistan, as and when provided by South Korea.
Secondly, he stated that the frequent exchange of delegations from both sides was crucial to develop trade relations further. He stated that the new FPCCI desk at Karachi International airport, which was inaugurated by Rehman Malik, the Interior Minister recently would facilitate businessmen greatly, as would the nascent establishment of such desks at Lahore and Islamabad Airports shortly.
Shaukat Mukaddam, Pakistan s Ambassador to South Korea, traced the history of Pak-Korean diplomatic and trade relations and expressed the desire to expand the trade between the two countries from US$1.4 billion (existing) to US$3 billion over the next 3-4 years.
He expressed satisfaction at the recent improvement in Pakistan s trade balance with Korea, but pointed out that there still existed immense potential for improvement.
He mentioned some major investments by Korean companies such as Samsung, Daewoo and Lotte in infrastructure, steel, food processing and beverages, which indicated that almost all the big Korean conglomerates had a presence in Pakistan.
He mentioned that Korea was keen to invest in emerging markets in South Asia, and pointed out that Pakistan could provide. a trade corridor to the landlocked Central Asian states.
Mr. In Ki Lee suggested that FPCCI should send a strong delegation to the Korean Expo in Seoul in May-August 2012, which would be a great opportunity to introduce Pakistani products to the Korean market.
He mentioned Korean investment in wind power projects and infrastructure in Pakistan, and was also very open to the suggestion of exploring joint ventures in seafood, leather processing and rice given by the Pakistani businessmen.
The meeting was concluded with presentation of the FPCCI Crest to Mr. Mukaddam and Mr. Lee.

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