THE Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is the third largest provincial economy in Pakistan. The province accounts for 11.9 percent of Pakistan ‘s total population. The part of the economy that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa dominates is forestry, where its share is more than 20 percent of Pakistan ‘s mining output comes from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Nearly 78 percent of Pakistan ‘s marble production also comes from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Wheat, maize, tobacco and sugar cane are the main cash crops of the province along with wide range of fruits and vegetables, whereas a huge quantity of mineral resources, scenic valleys and hydel potential is being utilized for the economic uplift of the Province. Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is blessed with an abundance of natural resources of oil and gas, huge hydel generation potential, mines and minerals and agriculture. It has snowcapped peaks of Hindukush with lush green valleys of scenic beauty and thus has enormous potential for the tourism industry.
The province is located at an ideal geographical location, it borders with Afghanistan to the northwest and has direct land route connection through Gilgit Baltistan Province with the Peoples Republic of China to the north. On February 25, 2015, the Pakistan TehreekeInsaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan flown to Dubai to inaugurate the first ever investment road show there in a bid to encourage foreign investment in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The PTI chief after cutting the tape of the event that took place at the Armani Lodging Dubai, highlighted the sectors and opportunities for investment in the KPK. In his address the PTI chief said: “If you are looking for high returns, this is the moment to invest in KPK. Development of a mass transit system has been planned; environmentally friendly and aimed at reducing congestion in Peshawar . KPK wants to develop marble cities, granite processing plants. KPK is extremely fertile land for quality crops, fruits, vegetables.
Both national and international airlines connect to Peshawar and all of Pakistan is accessible with ease. Security is improving, there is a lot of hope; this is the time to come in. We, the PTI government will make it best environment for investors. We are setting up investment cells to make things easier for investors.” The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Government and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Board of Investment and Trade organized the Investment Road Show exclusively sponsored by Multi Donor Trust Fund managed by the World Bank, to showcase the highly attractive and lucrative investment seeking projects in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Pakistan . The teams of experts from different UAE and Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Congo and SPEC showed interest in the KP energy and power, agriculture, tourism, oil and gas, hydel power, solar and housing sectors.
As many as 14 letters of intent were signed with foreign investors in tourism, 4 letters of intent in energy and power, 5 in agriculture and livestock, 4 in mines and minerals, 4 in housing and one each in oil and gas and solar sectors during the Road Show. In overall the outcomes of the Road Show will be more promising and the after affects will prove a catalyst for socioeconomic development and modernization of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, the experts opined. This event highlighted the investment opportunities and reflected the true potential of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa which is an untapped market and offers immense investment opportunities. The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa of all of Pakistan ‘s provinces is unarguably the most diverse ethnically; the most varied in terrain and sports a vigorous cultural spectrum. A couple of days after the successful session of the KP Investment Road Show in Dubai,
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Pervez Khan Khattak disclosed before the media persons that the KP government expected around $1.2 billion foreign investment in the sectors in which letters of intent have been signed in the show. He said that investment show in Dubai was successful as the response of foreign investors was very positive. He said the investors, who attended the event, expressed willingness to make investment in the province though the local law and order situation was not conducive. He said the law and order situation could not discourage investment and that development would continue. The CM told newsmen that foreign investors would come when PTI chairman Imran Khan became the prime minister as they have trust in Imran Khan and they will bring investment when he becomes the prime minister. He said provision of electricity could help attract industrialists.
The interest shown by the foreign donors in making investment in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa seems a promising development in the socioeconomic history of the KPK and the chief minister’s pledge to establish a separate cell for investment in the CM’s secretariat is also a commendable initiative in facilitating the foreign investors bringing their money to the province. It is also very encouraging that the world fourth largest company F&G has agreed to establish two new blocks in Chitral with making millions of dollars investment. As a whole, holding of a successful Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Investment Road Show in Dubai will lead towards better prospects in bringing foreign investment to the province. It will also give impetus to the developmental efforts of the present government for the larger interest of the people. It will also ensure confidence of the local investors who would also try to excel foreign investors in their bid to set up specific developmental units in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.