Written by: Surush Kamil Research & Development Analyst GBInvest Gilgit Baltistan.
Pakistani Executive Forum Visit Summary..
Pakistani Executive Forum business delegation visited Gilgit Baltistan with the on-ground facilitation of GBInvest and the Government of Gilgit Baltistan. Pakistani Executive Forum works with a vision to promote Pakistani Businesses and Entrepreneurs.
The delegation was led by Mr. Munir Shad, the President of the Pakistani Executive Forum, and consisted of Business Owners, CEOs, and executives of companies from Saudi Arabia, the Middle East, and Pakistan. The aim of the visit was to introduce the potential sectors of investment available in the Gilgit Baltistan region.
The delegation of the Pakistani Executive Forum arrived at Skardu Airport on 5th September 2022 and was welcomed by the GBInvest team. In Skardu, the delegation visited the University of Baltistan and met the Minister of Tourism, Education Secretary, and District Commissioner in a series of meetings.
Moreover, on 6th September one of a kind event was arranged at Rupani Academy conference hall by GBInvest Secretariat, where Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Water and Power, Secretary IT, Secretary Finance, and the Planning and Development Department co-hosted an event for the delegation and answered their queries about investing in Gilgit Baltistan.
Moreover, on 7th September 2022, the delegation visited the Chief Secretary’s office, Soni Jawari Policy Institute, and the honourable Chief Minister’s office. Five different Letters of Intent for investing in Gilgit Baltistan in the Information Technology, Agriculture, Aviation, Energy and Trade and Commerce sector were submitted to the P&D and Chief Secretary Office during this visit while eight other LOIs shall be submitted in the following week.
Details of the visit:
Day One: September 5, 2022 Meeting with Minister Tourism – Mr. Raja Nasir
• Tourism potential of Gilgit Baltistan with regard to investments in the sector was discussed with the respectable minister in a one-to-one meeting.
• Areas such as agritourism, hotels and resorts, adventure tourism, and aviation projects related to tourism were discussed in detail.
• Key areas where help from the government was needed were also explored in the one-to-one session.
Visit the University of Baltistan – Dr. Zakir
• Dr. Zakir Presented a presentation on the untapped potential of Gilgit Baltistan and thoroughly discussed the projects on which the University of Baltistan seeks private investments.
• As a result of the session – 12 companies offered support to the University of Baltistan in key areas such as.
▪ Exchange programs for the students of the agriculture department to Sindh universities.
▪ Free Amazon and other e-commerce training for students were offered from the PEF platform.
▪ Free training programs for University of Baltistan Students in agriculture, e-commerce, robotics, and freelancing were announced.
▪ Free partnership and consultancy were announced for UOB students if they wanted to train students in aviation.
Dinner Meeting with Local Government Officials – DC Skardu, Education Secretary, Minister of Tourism.
• Dinner Meeting was hosted by District Commissioner, Secretary Education and Minister Tourism for the PEF Delegation.
• PEF delegation was welcomed, and all their queries were discussed.
• Challenges in investing in Skardu in Energy, Aviation, Agricultural, Education, and IT projects were discussed in the meeting.
Day Two: September 6, 2022, Joint Session Rupani Academy Conference Hall:
A one-of-a-kind joint session was arranged by the GBInvest Secretariat, PPP Unit, and the P&D Department of the Government of Gilgit Baltistan at the Rupani Academy Conference Hall for the PEF delegation. Additional Chief Secretary, Secretary Water and Power, Secretary IT, Secretary Finance and other government officials and the PPP unit team participated in the event.
The program comprised introduction sessions, question answers, and a one-to-one session with relevant department secretaries to answer and boost investor confidence with regard to their investment ideas for Gilgit Baltistan.
The event was aimed at boosting investors’ confidence in their planned projects for Gilgit Baltistan. A one-to-one session with the relevant department secretaries was conducted in separate rooms after a joint session in the conference room was concluded to discuss their individual queries in detail. As a result of this session, five different letters of intent for investing in Gilgit Baltistan were written to P&D and the Chief Secretary’s office for approval of the projects.
Day Three: September 7, 2022 Meeting with Chief Secretary:
The PEF delegation along with the GBInvest team visited the Chief Secretary’s office. The meeting was arranged to present the signed LOIs by the PEF delegation. President PEF Mr. Munir Shad presented the plan for investment in Gilgit Baltistan. Other potential ideas for investment were discussed and welcomed by the chief secretary.
Meeting with Soni Jawari Policy Institute –
MR. Izhar Hunzai To Introduce the PEF delegation to the legal environment of the Gilgit Baltistan an introductory meeting was arranged with the Head of Soni Jawari Policy Institute. After a detailed introductory session, different policies and legal matters were discussed regarding Gilgit Baltistan’s regulatory and legal environment.
Meeting with Honorable Chief Minister Gilgit Baltistan – Mr. Khalid Khursheed An introductory meeting was arranged at the honourable chief minister’s office to discuss the investments and potential partnerships with the Government of Gilgit Baltistan. All the LOIs for investment were presented and assistance required from the Chief Ministers’ office was communicated by the President of PEF. Energy being the major issue of the region remained the primary focus of the meeting where different potential prospects for energy generation were discussed.
Visit Gilgit Baltistan Assembly A brief visit was arranged to Gilgit Baltistan Assembly for the PEF delegation. Honourable Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmed along with other paramilitary secretaries welcomed the PEF delegation. Potential investment ideas were discussed after brief introductory sessions.
Visit Rupani Gemstone Cutting Center An excursion visit was arranged for the PEF delegation to visit the Rupani Gemstone Cutting Training Center. The delegation was shown various precious and semiprecious stones along with the necessary cutting techniques and tools.
Yaran Corporation Visit –
Conclusion of PEF Visit A private enterprise called Yaran Corporation was visited by the delegation. Potential partnerships and multiple issues i.e. legal and regulatory environment; and the seasonal challenges posed by the nature were discussed with regard to different lines of business in the region.
PEF Visit Achievements:
• Exchange programs for the students of the agriculture department to Sindh universities.
• Free Amazon and other e-commerce training for students were offered from the PEF platform for the University of Baltistan Students and GBTechive Employees.
• Free training programs for University of Baltistan Students in agriculture, e-commerce, robotics, and freelancing were announced.
• Free partnership and consultancy were announced for UOB students if they wanted to train students in aviation.
• In the first series of submissions, five LOIs were submitted to P&D and Chief Secretary’s office for investments in Gilgit Baltistan in sectors such as Agriculture, Energy, IT, Aviation, and Trade and Commerce.
• Eight different LOIs will be submitted in series two submissions for investments in Gilgit Baltistan.
• Strategic Partnerships with GBtechive on e-commerce training, software development, and other key aspects pretraining to the industry with national and international companies were formed.
• Strategic Partnerships for the Le-Yurt Project on construction design and cost-effective methods of construction were formed.
• Possibility of partnering with all the investments as a local partner for the submitted LOIs.