MIRPUR (APP), Dec 24 (APP):President of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Sardar Masood Khan Sunday said there was a huge construction boom taking place in Pakistan and AJK which would provide ample opportunities for local and foreign investment.
He made these remarks in a meeting with Chinese delegation that called on him in the federal capital.
The delegation was comprising Vice President China Nantong Sanjian Construction Group (CNTC) Jiang Bing, Business Manager CNTC Ding Nan and other CNTC officials.
President Masood Khan warmly welcomed the delegation and invited them to visit Azad Kashmir and explore new avenues of investment.
He informed that the AJK amid its political stability, peace and strengthening economy would provide a conductive environment for foreign investors along with opportunities of forming public-private partnerships.
He said the AJK owing to its huge youth bulge, an 85% literacy rate, growing middle class, trained workforce, availability of raw materials had a huge potential for investment, especially in the construction sector.
He informed the delegation that the Chinese government had been actively investing in the AJK for the past three decades.
He said with the formal inclusion of Azad Kashmir in the China Pakistan Economic Corridor; 4 projects had exclusively been earmarked for this region which include Karot (720 MW), Kohala (1124 MW) Hydro-power projects, Special Industrial Zone in Mirpur and the Mansehra-Mirpur expressway.
Masood Khan said after the 2005 earthquake, China had assisted in the reconstruction of Muzaffarabad, Rawalakot and Bagh in the AJK which was an affirmation of the brotherly relationship enjoyed by the people of the two countries.
Azad Kashmir, he said, enjoyed the lowest crime rate in the region and had always attracted foreign investors. In recent years, South Korea, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Kuwait had been actively involved in reconstruction and development projects all over the AJK.
President said special initiatives had been taken to introduce contemporary skill development for the youth enabling compatibility with current market trends. “We will be producing skilled graduates to cater to the dynamically growing job market of AJK and the region”, he said.
Bing briefed the president about the working of CNTC.
He was told that the CNTC was initially established in 1958 as a state owned enterprise, and was currently one of the largest private sector construction conglomerates working in all provinces of China and over 20 countries around the world.
The CNTC specialized in construction of roads, pre-fabricated housing, construction materials and real-estate development, Bing said.
Director General AJK IT Board Dr Khalid Rafique were also present on the occasion.