Finance Minister meets Mitsubishi Corporation delegation

Tokyo, January 15, 2015 (PPI-OT): Finance Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar held a meeting with a Mitsubishi Corporation delegation headed by Senior Executive Vice President and Member of Board, Mr. Hideto Nakahara, here today. The Finance Minister briefed the delegation about the turnaround in Pakistan’s economy since June 2013 saying “the economy has taken a new direction”. He stated that the next target of the government was to develop the energy sector which suffered from wrong energy mix and for which there was no quick fix.

He stated that the importance of the energy sector could be judged from the fact that the Prime Minister himself now headed the Cabinet Committee on Energy which met very frequently. He informed that options available to Pakistan included electricity generation from coal, using super-critical technology which was environment friendly, and LNG.

He further informed that projects of 10,000 MW were under process in the private sector with government guarantees. Once the energy shortage was overcome, it would add 1 to 1.5 percent more to Pakistan’s GDP growth rate, the Minister added.

Finance Minister invited Mitsubishi to invest in Pakistan, in particular in the energy sector. He stated that Mitsubishi could either export LNG to Pakistan or else set up an LNG based electricity generation plant in the country. He informed the delegation that if Mitsubishi was interested in investing in Pakistan’s energy sector, the matter could be taken up with the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) for possible financing.

As far as the export of LNG to Pakistan was concerned, Pakistan would look to buy LNG for whoever provided better commercial terms, he added. He, therefore, invited Mitsubishi to look at Pakistan’s economic profile and decide quickly.

Mr. Nakahara informed the Finance Minister that Japanese investment in Pakistan peaked in the 1990s and that the Japanese businessmen recognized the importance of doing business with South Asian countries. He stated that Mitsubishi was interested in investing in Pakistan, mainly due to its market size as well as the number of young people. He stated that perceptions about Pakistan needed to be changed.

Mr. Hiroshi Sakuma, Executive Vice President at Global Environmental and Infrastructure Business Group informed the Finance Minister that Mitsubishi Corporation was interested in investing in Pakistan provided financing was made available. As a proof, he referred to Mitsubishi’s joint investment with Engro in power generation. The meeting was also attended by Chairman Board of Investment, Ambassador of Pakistan in Tokyo and other officials.

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Haji Ahmed Malik
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