The Board of Investment (BoI), Sindh, and the newly formed British Business Centre signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) at the UK Deputy High Commission on Wednesday afternoon.
The MoU envisages enhancing trade and investment cooperation between the United Kingdom and the Government of Sindh through an exchange of information on economic, commercial and industrial matters, and specific business opportunities available in Sindh and UK.
The MoU was signed by Malahat Awan, chief executive officer (CEO) of the British Business Centre, and Iftikhar Ali Shallwani, director general of the BoI, in the presence of Senior Minister for Finance and Energy Syed Murad Ali Shah, UK Deputy High Commissioner John Tucknott and Chairperson Sindh BoI Naheed Memon.
The finance minister said, “Two of the country’s three ports are situated in Sindh as is the country’s financial capital and the largest city, Karachi. We already see a strong British trade and investment presence in the province and hope that this agreement will bring in more UK investors and businesses to see for themselves first-hand the opportunities existing in Sindh in particular and Pakistan in general.”
He also mentioned the likelihood of UK assisting in the utilisation of the Thar coal reserves.
In this regard, John Tucknott, informally talking to The News, said two UK companies, one of which was Oracle Coalfields, had agreed to explore the possibilities of setting up a coal-based power station at the mine head.
He said, “The British Business Centre’s goal is to facilitate an increase in bilateral trade and investment in line with the commitments made by Prime Ministers David Cameron and Nawaz Sharif when they met in London in April 2014. We appreciate the help being extended by the Sindh BoI towards achieving that goal.”
Karachi, he said, had a host of opportunities to offer, and the British Business Centre was looking at Pakistan in light of the changes that were occurring.
Sindh BoI Chairperson Naheed Memon said the MoU would explore the possibilities of enhancing industrial linkages between the two countries. Later, mementos were exchanged between the British Business Centre and the BoI officials.