ISLAMABAD: Pakistan strongly believes that regional economic cooperation is necessary for social and economic wellbeing of the people and it is a member of different regional programmes like the CASA-1,000 power supply project, Tapi gas pipeline, electricity import from Iran, China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (Carec).
This was stated by Minister for Water and Power Khawaja Muhammad Asif while speaking at the 1st Energy Investment Forum organised here by Carec with support of the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the government of Pakistan.
The Economic Affairs Division, Ministry of Water and Power and Private Power and Infrastructure Board (PPIB) provided assistance to the forum. It was attended by the delegates from all member states of Carec including Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, China, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
Representatives of renowned financial institutions of the region, government officials, regulators, stakeholders and private sector members were also present.
ADB Vice President Wencai Zhang, while outlining the conference overview in his opening remarks, highlighted the importance of the forum in attracting investment in the energy sector and reiterated increased cooperation on a continued basis.
After briefing on selected case studies in Carec member states including Pakistan, prominent investors shared their insight for making investment in energy projects.
PPIB Managing Director Shah Jahan Mirza presented an overview of Pakistan’s power sector and briefed on the successful experience of introducing independent power producers, the lessons learnt and the steps that other Carec countries could take to ensure energy security.
Mirza briefly highlighted the investment opportunities in electricity production in Pakistan. He said hydroelectric power potential of 60,000MW and over 185 billion tons of coal reserves, mainly in the Thar area, offered huge investment opportunities to the investors in the country.
The government, he said, was fully committed to facilitating the investor community, particularly in the electricity and transmission network, for which a policy framework best aligned to the international standards had been made available.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 25th, 2016.