Foreign investors taking keen interest in Pakistani airports: Dawood

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ISLAMABAD: Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce & Investment Abdul Razak Dawood said on Thursday that different global investors have shown a keen interest after the government announced the outsourcing of Pakistani airports.

The adviser said this while chairing the first meeting of the committee formed by the cabinet on outsourcing of major airports of the country.

The meeting was attended by Advisor to PM on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan and Special Assistant to PM on Overseas Pakistani & Human Rights Zulfikar Bukhari. Board of Investment Chairman Atif Riaz Bokhari joined the meeting via video link.

Referring to the importance of outsourcing of commercial operations of airports in Pakistan, Dawood said that there is a big potential in the airport-related commercial activities, which can be exploited by bringing in knowledge and experience from major international experts in the aviation industry.

He said the gap in non-aeronautical activities at major airports of Pakistan, including duty free shops, restaurants, and commercial outlets, can be efficiently filled by such expertise, thereby bringing the airports at par with leading airports globally.

He also apprised the meeting of the interest being shown by different global investors in Pakistani airports, underscoring that best international practices would be ensured in the overall operation and management of various activities by bringing in international investors and generating an overall goodwill of Pakistan among various stakeholders as well as in the aviation industry around the world.

Underlining the significance of bringing in foreign investment, Dawood said that the foreign direct investment (FDI) always acts as a catalyst to socio-economic development in the country, as it results in creating thousands of jobs in the country.

The committee deliberated upon two aspects of airport operations, namely regulatory part of Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) and the commercial part of operations. During the meeting, various options, along with the associated legal aspects were discussed in detail, keeping in view the segregation of regulatory and commercial sides.

Representatives from the Privatization Commission were also consulted on their perspective regarding the available options for outsourcing of airport operations.

After deliberations, the committee decided to meet again after one week to finalize proposals for the federal cabinet.

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