Gilgit Baltistan’s Chief Minister, Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman on Tuesday said his region has tremendous potential for tourism but lack of good hotels is a major constraint.
Addressing business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), he urged private sector to invest in tourism in the GB to achieve lucrative results.
He said tourism was rapidly growing industry in the world with largest share in the GDP of 27 countries.
He said the number of tourists was increasing as in current year, 3500 foreign tourists visited the GB while the region attracted 20,000 to 25,000 domestic tourists.
He said three 5-star and four 3-star hotels were needed in the GB to facilitate tourists.
He said the GB government was providing tax exemptions on the import of machinery and equipment for mining, hotel and packaging industries.
He said the government would provide electricity to industry at Rs 5.50-6 per unit and urged that local investors should take benefit of these concessions to enhance investment in this region.
He said the GB had the potential to generate 40,000 MWs hydropower but this potential was ignored in the past.
He said a regional grid would be constructed at a cost Rs 25 billion and a transmission line from the GB to Fateh Jang at a cost of US$ 3 billion to connect the GB with national grid.
He urged that business community should play role in the growth of business activities in this region, which were still unexplored and assured that his government would act as a facilitator.
Speaking on this occasion, ICCI President Khalid Iqbal Malik said the chamber would play role in highlighting investment potential of GB at every relevant forum to attract investors.
He said a special economic zone under China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) would be developed in the GB and stressed that investors of Potohar Region should be given a special package for investment in the said zone.
Senior Vice President Khalid Malik, Vice President ICCI Tahir Ayub, Zafar Bakhtawari, Ejaz Abbasi, Naeem Siddiqui and others also addressed.