Mercedes Benz plant to be set up in Pakistan
* MoU being signed today, consortium to build power plant in AJK
By Khawaja Naseer
LAHORE: Dubai Coastal Group of UAE and Daimler Chrysler of Germany plans to invest around $2.4 billion in power generation and automobiles and a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to this effect is being signed today (Wednesday).
Under the MoU, several power projects, including the construction of Neelum-Jhelum Hydel Power Project, would be completed and a Mercedes Benz manufacturing plant will be set up in Pakistan.
A six-member delegation of Daimler Chrysler of Germany and Coastal Group of UAE, consisting of Coastal Group of UAE chairman Yusuf Najibi, Daimler Chrysler senior vice-presidents Peter Grosch, Martin Daum, ZF Friedrichshafen head Hans P Transmission, ZF Friedrichshafen AG Dr Thomas Hegel, FFG Flensburg AG chairman Norbert Erichsen, called on Umar Ahmad Ghumman, the state minister for Privatisation and Investment, on Tuesday and discussed with him the investment plan. Senior Board of Investment (BoI) officials were also present. This would be the biggest foreign investment in the history of Pakistan, sources told Daily Times.
They said that the consortium would spend $1.7billion on power generation projects to overcome electricity shortage while a Mercedes Benz car and truck manufacturing plant would be set up with $700 million. During the first phase, the plant will manufacture trucks for defence forces of Pakistan and establish a production line for two new economical models of Mercedes Benz cars besides constructing an international commercial city to house offices and showrooms for multi-national companies. The plant will start manufacturing commercial trucks in the second phase.
The minister said that investment by over 600 foreign companies, including 300 multi-national companies, proved that Pakistan was a business-friendly country.
Pakistan is the gateway to Central Asia and offer tremendous opportunities, he added.
With gradual improvement of security in Afghanistan, lucrative export opportunities will be available to investors to penetrate European markets. The investment policy of Pakistan is attractive compared to any other country of the region, the state minister added.
President Pervez Musharraf and his government are committed to ensuring the continuity of policies, good governance, liberalisation and facilitation to foreign investors, said Ghumman.