Sindh province of Pakistan expects US $8 billion Korean investment

Sindh, the southern province of Pakistan, expects 7 to 8 billion US dollar investment in different sectors including energy, food, tourism and communication up to 2020 from Republic of Korea, as a large number of Korean companies are keen to invest here. Several Korean companies are already here executing different projects, said Mr. Zubair Motiwala, Chairman, Sindh Board of Investment (SBI). 

“Around 40 South Korean companies are present in Pakistan, and many of them are willing to invest in Sindh province,” Motiwala said while talking to The AsiaN at his office in Karachi, the coastal city and capital of Sindh. 

“Recently a Korean  Company POSCO has purchased 40 percent shares investing 200 million US$ in Al-Twairki Steel Mills, another company OPI Gas Petroleum Limited has also taken over Shell Pakistan investing 600 million US$ while Lotte has taken over ICI Chemical Company putting in 700 million US$. All these concerns are located in Karachi, the biggest city of Pakistan,” he told. 

SBI chief said the Lotte has also plans setting up food chain to produce juices, milk, biscuits etc. and purchased six factories in Karachi, Hyderabad and Sukkur cities of Sindh. It would also setup cold storages in the province. 

In communication sector, a Korean company Deokjee has almost completed a 4-lane 100km road on Build Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis between Hyderabad and Mirpur Khas cities of Sindh, he told.

“Another big achievement of Sindh Board of Investment is finalization of a deal in energy sector with Korean Southern Power Company KOSPO that would setup wind power units to produce 2000MW electricity. These units would be installed in wind zone of Thatta district that is 180km long and 80km wide south-east of Karachi having wind speed of 7.8 nautical miles per hour. In first phase the KOSPO would install wind power unit of 300MW electricity investing 350 million US$ for which the land has been provided and by March 31, 2013 the production would start,” Motiwala said. 

SBI chairman told that a Korean delegation is currently visiting Thar Coalfield, one of the biggest coalfields of world, to explore opportunities of investing in coal-fired power plants. Sindh government has launched many projects there for developing infrastructure including airport, water supply, electricity, road network etc. 

In solar power sector too, besides a German Company Azur, talks are underway with some Korean companies. Moreover, the Eximbank of Korea is extending soft loan of over 1600 million US$ for setting up 3MW each of solar power units at two big hospitals of Sindh at Hyderabad and Larkana cities of Sindh. A delegation of Korean solar engineers and other experts are currently visiting these two sites for preparing feasibility report. 

Some Korean companies including Lotte are also in talks with SBI for projects in mass transit, solid waste management and tourism sectors, Motiwala said. 

SBI Chairman said a delegation of Sindh government headed by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah had visited Republic of Korea in May 2011 during which many Memorandums of Understanding were signed. The important thing of the visit was that Ambassador of Korea Mr. Choong Joo Choi was part of the delegation and he fully supported Sindh government and convinced Korean investors to come forward.

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