July 22, 2008

Pakistan PM Encourages Foreign Energy Investors

Text of report by official news agency Associated Press of Pakistan (APP)

Islamabad, 22 July: Prime Minister Syed Yusuf Raza Gillani said on Tuesday [22 July] Pakistan offers best investment opportunities to foreign investors, especially in the energy sector, adding the government would fully facilitate initiatives for setting up oil refineries in the country.

He was talking to Fazal Rahim, president, International Oil Company (IOC) of USA at the Prime Minister's House.

The prime minister said that current energy requirements of the world has enhanced the need to open new avenues and Pakistan being on the doorstep of energy corridor of Central Asia provides best option. The proposed Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan (TAP) gas pipeline offers best opportunity to the international companies for investment, he added.

The prime minister said the government of Pakistan has provided special incentives for setting up of oil refineries. Under these incentives, companies do not need any prior permission for setting up of refineries; they can import crude oil from any source; refineries are free to sell their product to any market. Prime Minister Gillani said the government would welcome and fully facilitate any initiative for setting up of oil refineries and energy projects.

IOC President Fazal informed the prime minister that his company plans to invest in Pakistan in the energy sector. He briefed the prime minister of various proposals which includes a mega-refinery at Gwadar of 1.2 million barrel a day capacity; 4,000 MW of power generation projects; 3,000 MW coal-based power project and food security projects. The prime minister instructed the Board of Investment and concerned ministries to evaluate the proposal on priority basis.

IOC is a USA-based company having its investment and stakes in oil drilling, oil pipeline, refineries and power-generation projects all over the world.

Shah Mehmood Qureshi, federal minister for petroleum; the secretary for petroleum; and other senior officials of the government were also present during the meeting.

Originally published by Associated Press of Pakistan news agency, Islamabad, in English 1356 22 Jul 08.

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