Posted by: Administrator | 10 January, 2008

Karachi Financial Tower

 President’s Address at groundbreaking ceremony of Karachi Financial Tower
 
President’s Address at groundbreaking ceremony of Karachi Financial Tower Ladies and gentlemen, it is indeed a great pleasure for me to be present at the groundbreaking ceremony of a very magnificent project of 37-story twin-tower building called Karachi Financial Tower (KFT). It is going to set a new record of being the tallest building of Karachi. For a number of decades Habib Bank (Pvt) Ltd had been the tallest building and later MCB building. So, I would say this set in a new trend of high-rise buildings in Karachi.
 
I very much appreciate the efforts of National Logistic Cell (NLC) and UAE Enshaa Holding Ltd for investing around Rs. 11 billion in this project. In my experience, over the last few years, I have seen that the biggest challenge or obstacle to investment in Pakistan is accusation of land. To resolve this, I am glad we took some decisions many years back. The Railway Minister informed the government that there is a lot of vacant and unutilized land. So, that is when I took this decision of sharing strategy; allowing 60% of the value to Railways and giving 40% to Sindh government and within this I know that now Railways has to shed or give 30% to the government.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, UAE and Pakistan have had brotherly relations in the past and present. I always believe this need to be cemented through economic, commercial and trade bond. This is the demand of the 21st centaury. UAE already is a major investor in Pakistan and more investment is coming.
 
Today, with the economic upsurge in Pakistan, any investor coming to Pakistan has maximum profitability. With the growth of GDP the per capita income of Pakistan has doubled. We are now categorized as middle-income category country.
 
Today, Pakistan supports a market of 160 million people and is the hub of this entire region of South Asia, Central Asia and Middle East. It is not a standalone country. Pakistan can attract tremendous investment. The government is trying to project Pakistan in its correct perspective and tremendous amount of interest is also shown internationally.
 
Ladies and gentlemen, building and construction is specially being emphasized in Pakistan in all our planning and strategies because it is a labor intensive activity. Therefore, it generates economic activity as well as maximum number of jobs for skilled and unskilled labor. This industry encourages about 50 downstream industries. Therefore, the government is facilitating this sector to the maximum. Tremendous amount of construction activity is going on in Karachi, 2 Lahore and Islamabad. In Islamabad alone, five 5-star hotels would be coming up in another 2-3 years.
 
I am very glad Railways Minister Sheikh Rashid is encouraging this industry and is launching 55 hotels of 3 or 4-star dimension all over Pakistan.
 
Lastly, I just want to say that we have to reduce unemployment and the easiest way is through skill development. Unfortunately in the past we have been ignoring skill development, vocational training and technical education. But for the future we have a strategy of encouraging skill development through triangular synergy between the industry, universities and technical institutions.
 
I am glad to say nine universities from the developed world would inshAllah be opening their campuses in Pakistan and awarding their degrees. This is a great strategy because it would generate scientists and engineers without the necessity to go abroad. We are going to introduce technical institutes all over the country through a commission called National Vocational and Technical Education Commission. It has been taken separated from Ministry of Education and would now facilitate production of skill development and technical education in Pakistan. So, even though this would yield results in the longer term but that is the correct and ultimate direction the nation should take. And that is what the government has taken.
 
I am very sure that this nation will progress and the people of Pakistan will stand to gain with government policies and strategies.
 
Thank you ladies and gentlemen.
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