ISLAMABAD: Andrew Forrest, Chairman of Australian company Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, has expressed a keen interest in making investments in Pakistan’s renewable energy sector and green industry.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday, Forrest said the investment by Fortescue Group would help create employment opportunities for Pakistanis, besides introducing new technology solutions for a host of industries.
The PM appreciated the interest of Fortescue Group in Pakistan and assured all possible facilitation in undertaking business ventures in the country.
He also shed light on the government’s investment-friendly policies and highlighted the economic recovery displayed by the country in the aftermath of Covid-19 pandemic.
The PM underscored the government’s strategy to contain the spread of coronavirus through smart lockdowns and simultaneously reaching out to the millions of poor through the flagship Ehsaas Programme.
Andrew Forrest appreciated the strategy adopted by the government in dealing with the pandemic.
Later in the day, a delegation of Fortescue Metals Group Limited, headed by Chairman Andrew Forrest, visited the Board of Investment (BOI) to meet relevant government officials.
The meeting was chaired by Adviser to PM on Commerce Abdul Razak Dawood and attended by BOI Chairman Atif R Bokhari and Commerce Secretary Fareena Mazhar.
Addressing the meeting, Razak Dawood said the approach of the Fortescue Group was unique and it would result in the transfer of knowledge and technology to Pakistan.
He said that the workforce of Pakistan was quite capable of learning and adapting new technologies quickly and the investment would result in improving Pakistan’s labour market.
Dawood underlined that the BOI would act as the focal point for the group and that the board would actively resolve any issues that may arise during different stages of materialisation of their plans.
He appreciated the approach of the group for giving employment opportunities to indigenous communities, which was also a benchmark for their investment plans in Pakistan.
During the meeting, the Fortescue group gave a presentation on their proposed plans for making investments in Pakistan.
The group informed that Pakistan was one of the short-listed countries that were being actively explored for investments.
Andrew Forrest appreciated the support and enthusiasm of the Pakistan government and said the investment would focus on Green Industry, starting from generation of hydropower and development of industry in the associated land, which would be owned and operated by the group with the help of local partners.
It is pertinent to mention that the group is currently undertaking exploration activities in New South Wales and South Australia, as well as in Ecuador and Argentina, besides preliminary exploration activities for copper, gold and lithium in Colombia, Peru, Portugal and Kazakhstan,.
Its longstanding relationships with customers in China have grown from its first commercial shipment of iron ore in 2008. Today, the group is the core supplier of seaborne iron ore to China and have expanded into markets including Japan and South Korea.