Islamabad: On the initiatives of the Ministry of Commerce to enhance trade ties between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia and to increase the export of Pakistani trained human resource to Saudi Arabia, a high profile 5 members delegation of Pakistan Investors Forum (PIF) Jeddah (J) of Saudi Arabia led by Minister of Trade for Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) Mr Hijab Gul paid a four day visit to Pakistan from 9th June to 14th June, 2011.
The PIF(J) delegation along with its heavy agenda and very busy schedule held various meetings with the President, Prime Minister, Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower, MoS Labour and Manpower, and heads of NAVTEC, NDMA, OEC, FWO, Engineer in Chief and QMG of Pakistan Army and NLC. The PIF (J) held above mentioned meetings with the focus on 3 point agenda i.e. Export of trained Pakistani Force, Sensitize the Pakistani companies about the promising Saudi construction market and to explore the possibility of forming a consortium of Pakistani Public and Private Sector Companies. Brain storing meeting was held in the office of Mr. Muhammad Saleem Ahmed Ranjha, Joint Secretary, Prime Minister Secretariat, Islamabad to streamline the activity of the visiting delegation and make the visit result oriented with a targeted approach.
The leader of the PIF(J) delegation, Minister of Trade for OIC Mr Hijab Gul while giving the outcome of their 4 days’ meetings in brief has said that a meeting was held with Mr. Zafar Qadir, Chairman National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA). The delegation discussed the possibility of opening of vocational training institutes in the earthquake and flood affected areas on priority basis to support the unemployed youths to earn their livelihoods with dignity and honour. It was agreed upon that an apex body at Federal level like National Vocational and Technical Education Commission (NAVTEC) may be taken on board to facilitate and accelerate the training and certification programmes.
A dinner meeting was held with Ch. Wajahat Hussain, Federal Minister for Labour and Manpower at his residence in presence of the Minister of State, Federal Secretaries, Director Generals, Overseas Employment Corporation (OEC) and other senior officers. The delegation explained in detail some of the problems being faced by labour force in Saudi Arabia which start even before the departure from their homeland.
The Federal Minister Ch. Wajahat Hussain assured the delegation that the government will try its best to send value added human resource equipped with skilled training through accredited institutes under the table guidance of NAVTEC, certifying according to the international standard, facilitating the visa process and help the new arrivals for placement with the Saudi Companies. P I F (J) held a very productive meeting in the President House for increasing the export of export of reliably trained and certified work force to the Middle Eastern Countries. A proposal about forming the consortium of the Pakistani Public and Private Sector Companies (PPPSC) regarding Project Management Unit (PMU) was also discussed in President House meeting.
The idea is to pool up the resources and experience under one umbrella administration to capitalize on the booming construction sector of the Middle Eastern region specially Saudi Arabia and Qatar. The Minister Trade (O.I.C) was nominated as the focal person to coordinate with the Director General NAVTEC for studying the need assessment, proposing the training courses and fulfilling the demand of the Saudi Companies and Pakistani Investor Companies. Under a special initiative from the President’s Secretariat the down trodden class and unskilled youths will be supported from already started free of cost “President’s Funni Maharat Programme” and “Prime Minister’s Hunarmand Pakistan Programme” through NAVTEC.
The PIF (J) delegation also called on the Chairman NAVTEC Muhammad Mumtaz Akhtar Kahloon and discussed the Agenda point, regarding training and certification of man power according to international standards and region and countries’ specific requirement. It was decided that a delegation of NAVTEC will be sent to Saudi Arabia and Middle East / G.C.C region to assess the sector wise demand and suggest the training courses on countries’ and region’s specifics basis.
The PIF (J) delegation also held a meeting with Mr. Shahid Rafique Vice Chairman Pakistan Contractors Association and Chief Executive Officer Habib Rafique Group and discussed the proposal of forming consortium.
The delegation called on Engineer in Chief (E.N.C) of Pakistan Army and Director General F.W.O and discussed in detail the present booming situation of construction and infrastructure development in the Middle East specially Saudi Arabia. F.W.O. which is already in the process of exploring the possibilities to participate in the relevant works in Saudi Arabia thanked the delegation for their insightful discussion over ground situation. The delegation assured the Organization for extending every possible assistance, cooperation and coordination on all relevant matters.
Meeting with Quarter Master General (QMG) of the Pakistan Army and Director General National Logistic Corporation (NLC) was very significant and productive. N.L.C is already working in Saudi Arabia in a big way and they assured the delegation about their enhanced presence in the Saudi Business Market. The idea of forming a consortium was discussed in detail with all and was appreciated from all the top most seniors’ level.
The last meeting proved to be a concluding session with the Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani who was kind enough to call the delegation in PM House for briefing about the outcome of 4 days’ visit in Pakistan over a lunch hosted in honour of the delegation.
The idea for export of the trained and certified work force was very much appreciated by the Prime Minister and directed Chairman NAVTEC Muhammad Mumtaz Akhtar Kahloon, to take concrete steps to enhance export of value addition, finding jobs for Pakistani youths in Middle East and G.C.C. region.
The PIF (J) delegation requested the Prime Minister to issue directives to relevant quarters for issuance of passport containing 100 pages to businessmen for frequent travelling. Formation of a consortium came under discussion. The Prime Minister asked the delegation to send a proposal regarding for the further process of the Planning Commission through Prime Minister Secretariat.
The PIF (J) also discussed the much needed facility for setting up a hospital in Jeddah for the Pakistani community. The delegation offered PM to construct hospital building on Build, Operate and Transfer (BOT) basis on a piece of land lying unutilized under the occupation of Pakistan government in Rahab district.
Prime Minister talking to delegation said that brother Islamic country Saudi Arabia is our time tested friend. Prime Minister of Pakistan Syed Yousuf Raza Gilani particularly thanked Khadim-ul-Harmain Sharifain Honourable King Abdullah Bin Abdul Aziz Al-Saud for his kind help of Pakistani Businessmen in Saudi Arabia. Presently more than 624 Pakistani Business Companies are running their business successfully there on account of excellent and encouraging policies of Saudi Arabia General Investment Authority (SAGIA).
With the passage of time friendly and socio-economic bilateral relations and mutual interest between the two countries will be further cemented and strengthened, the Prime Minister added. At the end, the other members of the delegation thanked the Prime Minister for his cordial reception and expressed their satisfaction about the outcomes of the visit under the table leadership of Hijab Gul Minister (Trade) O.I.C. Five member delegation comprises Chaudhry Muhammad Yousuf Ibrahim Chairman PIF (J) and CEO C.co., Chaudhry Shafqat Mahmood President PIF(J), Salman Arain Vice President PIF(J), Sajjad Anwar Mohammad General Manager Global Construct of Saudi Arabia and Mazhar Abbas member PIF(J).
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