BoI gears up for investor moot in Malaysia


ISLAMABAD – The Board of Investment (BOI) will hold an investment conference in Kuala Lumpur for Malaysian businessmen seeking lucrative investment opportunities in the power, construction and Halal food sectors in Pakistan in March of this year.
An official told Pakistan Today that the conference would be held with the cooperation of the Malaysian Industrial Development Authority (MIDA), which also assists Malaysian companies in matter pertaining to overseas investment. “The conference will be held in the last week of March; the date is being finalised with the consultation of MIDA”, he added.
It was indicated that Malaysian investors are keen to invest in Pakistan, especially in agriculture and Halal food sectors. “Malaysians want to enhance agricultural imports from Pakistan”, he said. Seeing burgeoning Malaysian interest, MIDA invited BOI to hold an investment conference and it was decided to brief Malaysian investors about the huge opportunities existing in the investment in power sector, infrastructure, construction, agriculture, agro processing and halal foods, he added.
More than 100 Pakistani businessmen and 400 investors from Malaysia will participate in the conference. The decision to include Pakistani businessmen was made as Business to Business (B2B) interaction with Malaysian investors will hopefully allow the initiation of joint ventures in different sectors. Malaysians are focusing on Pakistan, particularly favouring a fellow Muslim country from where many halal food products can be safely imported.
The official went on to say that as a result, Malaysians are also scrutinising investment opportunities in livestock and dairy sectors, as they understand that Pakistan could cater to their halal meat and dairy demand. “Pakistan could easily export roughly $1.0 billion per annum halal meat to Malaysia if only abattoirs are upgraded to international standards. Beef produced in Pakistan costs $5.0 per kilogram while internationally halal meat is generally tagged at $10 per kilogram.
Realising the huge scope of the global market, a few local businessmen have invested in setting up international standard slaughterhouses and are presently exporting meat and beef carcasses to Malaysia and Middle East” he noted. It is important to mention that Malaysia recently established a pilot breeding project of Nili Ravi Buffalo with the technical support of the Buffalo Research Institute Punjab. The Government of Punjab transferred 170 Nili Ravi buffalo for breeding, which is renowned for its high yield of its high quality milk with rich fat content.
Malaysia is deficient in milk production and imports most of the fresh milk for its domestic requirements. The Malaysian government is keen to develop a local dairy industry to meet domestic needs of fresh milk as well as for the production of milk based products like Mozzarella cheese, fresh butter and other products, he said.
Pakistan being the fifth largest milk producer, tenth in terms of citrus production, third in mango production, thirty-third with regards to potato production, fourth in onion production with a livestock population of over 110 million and possessing the second largest rock salt reserves, stands to benefit from Malaysian expertise in processing, packaging, marketing and establishing a competitive supply chain to capture a big chunk of fast growing trillion dollar halal market, he reasoned.