Norway is the 2nd largest investor in the telecommunication sector in Pakistan after China, and it is taking a keen interest in investing more in the country. However, current business climate and security situation in Pakistan are not encouraging for Norway to spend more, revealed the Norwegian Ambassador.
While talking to the business community at Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Tore Nedrebo, Ambassador of Norway said that Pakistan would have to make itself a likely, secure and profitable destination to attract more Norwegian investment.
Norway was cooperating with Pakistan in two LNG terminals at Karachi, and one Norwegian company was involved in a hydropower project in Swat, KP. He said a balance of trade was in favour of Pakistan as, during 2015, Pakistan’s exports to Norway were $78 million with imports from Norway $ 11 million.
Pakistan Embassy in Norway has to play a proactive role in convincing Norwegian investors to explore Pakistan. However, he said if any Norwegian company showed interest in Pakistan, his Embassy would fully cooperate. He said CPEC would be beneficial for Pakistan and added that better growth of Pakistan’s economy would make it more appealing to Norwegian investors.
In his welcome address, Khalid Iqbal Malik, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that Pakistan and Norway had maintained good political relations since long that should be translated into growing trade and economic ties.
The bilateral trade between both countries had not touched $100 million marks as yet despite the fact that both have real potential to enhance cooperation in many areas.
Malik further said that Norway was endowed with abundant natural resources including petroleum, hydropower, forests and minerals and it should cooperate with Pakistan in hydropower generation, exploration of oil and gas and minerals. He said agriculture was another area where both countries could enhance cooperation and Pakistan could export food products including seafood, textiles, leather and many others to Norway.
10 Norwegian companies including Telenor are doing successful business in Pakistan which showed that Pakistan was a promising country for foreign investors. CPEC offers plenty of new trade and investment opportunities to foreign investors and time is ripe for Norwegian investors to explore Pakistan for joint ventures and investment.