There is an annual shortfall of 270,000 housing units at present while the backlog of around 7.0 million units is in addition. The Prime Minister has issued a number of policy guidelines under “HOUSING FOR ALL” program for launching housing schemes for Government employees & provision of infrastructure to the housing development schemes. The Government has identified housing and construction as one of the major drivers of growth and has undertaken a number of measures to give impetus to this Sector which have helped to revive construction activities in the Country. Some of these include:
â–ª Significant reduction in duties and taxes on import of building materials including steel & its products, Construction Machinery & Equipment
â–ª Removing uncertainties from the real estate market by computerizing ownership documents
â–ª Free Trade Agreement between Pakistan & China.
Huge investments are pouring in from international investors from UAE, Singapore, Malaysia, China etc. who have committed for US$ 43 billion on two islands of Bin Qasim, US$68 billion on a New City Project in Hawkesbury, Karachi and are also executing mega housing projects in Lahore, Gwadar, Mangla & DHA Karachi and Islamabad. The new home financing schemes by local and foreign leasing and financial institutions, through aggressive marketing, are playing an important role in the growth in this sector. Also, there are numerous infrastructure development projects in progress in the Country that include a large number of flyovers, underpasses, highways, tunnels, dams, roads and industrial projects which have to lead this industry to surpass its past status and glory.
Every big city of Pakistan solicits Mass Transit System. The roads, highways and motorways all over the country, specifically from Gwadar to Central Asian Republic Countries is another sector for investment on a BOT basis. The Government is looking forward for investors to build these on BOT, BLT, BOOT basis. Overseas Entrepreneurs have ideal opportunities to make joint ventures with Pakistani entrepreneurs to invest in these projects on turnkey basis for very lucrative returns.
Furniture Industry – another potential sector for investment
Government plans to set up a Sector Development Company on the recommendations of the Furniture Strategy Working Group “SWOG” to boost the furniture industry. At present, quality furniture is being produced mainly at Chiniot, Gujrat, Peshawar, Rawalpindi and Karachi. Pakistan has the potential to export US$1 billion worth of furniture annually in the international market. Pakistan’s furniture industry can be transformed from cottage to a modern industry through training, upgrading supplies and imports, setting up a woodworking institute including testing labs of international standards in Pakistan.
Gwadar – An investors’ paradise
The land of Gwadar has its geographical importance, as after the development of the Port it will link the landlocked Central Asian Republics & Afghanistan with the rest of the world. It would also provide an alternate route to countries like China & Russia to directly access many Middle Eastern states. The Government has initiated a number of key projects in Gwadar which would open new vistas for the economic development of Balochistan as well as Pakistan. Operation of Gwadar Port has already been awarded to Singapore Port Authority for 40 years. Some of the important projects initiated by the Government in Balochistan include the construction of New Gwadar Airport, Gwadar-Khuzdar-Ratodero Road, Saindak Copper / Gold Mine, Kutchi Canal, etc. while the Makran Coastal Highway, Gwadar Deep Sea Port & Mirani Dam have already been completed & commissioned.
Work on Sonmiani Beach, the 4th Port of Pakistan, Extension of Coastal Highway from Gwadar up to Iranian Border has been announced by the Government to be commenced in the near future. Entrepreneurs from all over the world have immense opportunity to invest in infrastructure, Seaport, Airport and other industrial projects in the region.
Marble City Project at Hub (Balochistan) – Invest to modernize Marble Industry for exports
Pakistan, specifically Balochistan, is very rich in the mineral wealth of various kinds of marble, onyx and granite. Low quantum of exports is mainly because of inexpensive primitive quarrying, finishing and polishing methods being generally adopted at present. Realizing its potential for exports, the Government has established a MARBLE CITY on 600 acres of land located at 7 kilometres from Hub on Hub-Gadani Road under Lasbela Industrial Estate Development Authority “LIEDA”. The 1 st phase of 300 acres has been sold out to 108 entrepreneurs. Infrastructure has been provided and factories over 70 plots are in an advanced stage of construction. Overseas investors have a unique opportunity to form joint ventures with local entrepreneurs to install Hi-Fi Plants and Machinery at MARBLE CITY to produce quality tiles, slabs and blocks at par with international standards for exports of this highly potential commodity, in great demand globally. Pakistan has several rare species of marble & granite of unmatchable quality in abundant quantities. Presently, marble is being exported to USA, UK, Italy, China, Middle and Far Eastern Countries etc.