The estimated worth of natural resources minerals and mines of Pakistan stands at US Dollars 6 Trillion. Allah is kind to bless this country with an abundance of natural resources, but, it is up to the people of Pakistan to utilize them appropriately or not. Unfortunately, in the seven decades of Pakistan’s history, these assets were not tapped appropriately. But, the current economic crisis has forced Pakistan to think, think smartly, and the nation has decided to utilize its full potential and change the fate of the people of Pakistan.
Mineral Summit was held in Islamabad on 01 August 2023. The event was attended by the Prime Minister of Pakistan, the Army Chief of Pakistan, the Minister of Petroleum and Natural Resources, and stakeholders within Pakistan. A high-level delegation from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia led by Saudi Mining Minister Engineer Khalid bin Saleh Al Madifar, also attended the Summit. The Event was sponsored by BARRICK, a well-known international company in the field of mineral, mining, and natural resources.
It is worth mentioning that China is the largest importer of mining and mineral production in Pakistan, as a matter of fact, China is the largest buyer of minerals globally. Being the closest friend of Pakistan, a lot of strategic cooperation already exists, but, space to grow further is always available. It is the right time for Chinese investors and entrepreneurs to avail the new policies and enter into a Pakistani niche market.
At the Summit, the public was educated about the success stories of Pakistan, like, the SAINDAK Copper-Gold Project, DUDDAR Lead-Zinc Project, SINO-SINDH Thar Coal Block-I, Sindh Engro Thar Block-II, BOYA Muhammad Khel, REKO_DIQ Copper Project, etc.
Also enlightened with the upcoming projects like BARITE Lead-Zinc, CHINIOT Iron Ore, ORACLE Power PLC Coal Block-IV, etc.
Huge Investment potential is available like That Coal Field (09 Coal Blocks), Copper Prospects in Chagai, BARITE-LEAD-ZINC Khuzdar, Prospect of Metallic Minerals in the Gilgit-Biltistan, Exploration of Metallic Minerals in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, etc. There are also a few associated Projects, with very attractive opportunities for investment: Coal Gasification/ Liquefaction, Thar Coalfield Railway Connectivity, Assembling Plant for Mining Machinery, etc.
Pakistan has established the “National Minerals Data Center” with its sub-centers in various parts of Pakistan to facilitate investors. The Center entails the use of GIS-based technologies to integrate and disseminate mineral sector data including geological and geochemical maps, mineral sample analysis reports, and areas granted and applied for mineral titles, road and rail network layers, geographical borderlines, etc. The Centers are aimed to facilitate the investors and are expected to attract investors.
“Special Investment Facilitation Council” (SIFC) is established, with the aims and objectives of a “unified approach” to steer the country out of the economic storm. By virtue of its composition, the SIFC will serve as a top decision-making forum to push through fundamental reforms in the structure of the economy. The forum will focus on leveraging key sectors such as IT, agriculture, energy, minerals and mining, and defense production. The SIFC is attracting investment from friendly countries, with the immediate task of boosting Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) to $5 billion.
The apex body constituents are the prime minister, federal ministers (planning, finance, IT & Telecom, food security, power, water resources, industries and production, defense, defense production, and investment), chief of the army staff, all chief ministers, national coordinator (Pakistan Army) and Special Assistant to the Prime Minister shall act as Secretary to the body. However, the executive committee will consist of the planning minister, national coordinator (Pakistan Army), federal ministers (defense, food security, IT & Telecom, and Power), state ministers (petroleum and finance), provincial ministers (agriculture, mines, and minerals, IT, energy, Board of Revenue, irrigation, finance, planning, and development and investment), SAPM, chief secretaries, director general (Pakistan Army), secretary Board of Investment. The composition of the Council is obvious to make it a powerful body and objective oriented.
Special incentives are being offered like fiscal incentives for coal development, Special Economic zones, Export processing zones, Foreign Private Investment Act 2022, Income Tax Ordinance 2001, etc. A very attractive environment has been created for investors and lucrative packages are offered.
The Vision of “Dust to Development” is not a new concept many countries have implemented it in recent history. We can witness it in the brotherly country Saudi Arabia, and almost in all of the GCC states, where the oil wealth is utilized to develop their countries. Today the entire GCC is enjoying state-of-the-art infrastructure, the happiness of the public, the facilities of health and education, and the standard of life, etc., all amazing, which is incomparable to the era before the exploration of Oil and Gas and natural resources. Pakistan may be late, but, never too late. It is desired the vision of Pakistan will be realized soon. It is expected that the traditional hurdles will be removed and the investors may find red carpets instead of red tape in the days to come. The vision “Dust to Developments” will change the fate of the people of Pakistan. Our tomorrow will be better than yesterday.