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PM welcomes Volkswagen’s entry into Pakistan
November 11, 2017
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KARACHI: Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has welcomed Volkswagen’s decision to invest and undertake business ventures in Pakistan, assuring the world’s largest automaker of complete facilitation and support from the government.

Talking to Volkswagen Board of Management member Joseph Baumert, who met him at the PM Office, Abbasi highlighted strengths of Pakistan’s economy and credited investor-friendly policies for an “economic turnaround” in the last four years.

Abbasi said that both local and foreign investors had huge incentives to invest and reap benefits from a fast-growing economy as a result of the improved security situation.

The auto sector development also comes as a huge relief for a hungry Pakistani market long dominated by three Japanese players who face continuous capacity constraints.

With the government recently imposing further regulatory duty on the import of new and used vehicles, the stage seems set for new entrants.

In the past year, Lucky has announced a joint venture with Kia Motors, while Hyundai Motor Company also plans to set up a car assembly plant with textile group Nishat Mills.

Abbasi said that due to improved and enhanced road networks as a result of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and greater spending on communication infrastructure, Pakistan offers great opportunities to international automobile companies to fill in the existing demand-supply gap through local production.

The premier also highlighted various features of the Auto Policy 2016-2021 which offers tax and other incentives to new entrants to enable introduction of new brands, develop market share, create distribution and after-sales service networks besides a parts-manufacturing base.

Abbasi expressed hope that Volkswagen would provide quality vehicles of international standards.

Baumert also expressed hope for a successful business venture in Pakistan. Other officials including Volkswagen’s head of overseas production Andreas Sprindler, head of Asia Pacific, Oliver Glaser, International Policy Foreign and Governmental Relations Klaus Bo Steindorff and head of CKD Yuri Konushin, Premier Systems CEO Syed Arshad and Board of Investment secretary were present.

Meanwhile, the London School of Economics (LSE) has welcomed the announcement by the prime minister that Jinnah Chair will be established under the auspices of LSE South Asia Centre and it would be funded by the government of Pakistan.

The LSE has confirmed that Abbasi made the commitment during his recent visit of the LSE for the Future of Pakistan Conference 2017 organised by LSE Pakistan Development Society in collaboration with South Asia Centre and Communication Research Strategies, Islamabad.

The LSE said that the Jinnah Chair will become the first-ever, dedicated and focused research agenda on Pakistan at a world-class higher education institute and become the first such research programme on Pakistan in the world.

It said that the research agenda will explore Pakistan’s constitutional democracy and focus on major aspects about Pakistan independent of relations with India or the war on terror.

The announcement of the establishment of the Jinnah Chair has been welcomed by the LSE Director Minouche Shafik and the Director of LSE South Asia Centre, Dr Mukulika Banerjee.

Omer Azhar Bhatti, the President of LSE Pakistan Development Society and lead organiser of the Future of Pakistan Conference said that the Prime Minister’s visit will go down in history books because this is the first time that the sitting PM of Pakistan has spoken at a truly world-class institution like LSE.

Omer explained that the establishment of the Jinnah Chair is a huge achievement for the LSE South Asia Centre and Pakistan. “In laymen terms, it means that that LSE South Asia Centre becomes the go-to place for anyone who wants to know where good research is conducted on Pakistan.”


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