S’pore and Pakistani firms enter contracts for $852m worth of projects

SINGAPORE and Pakistani companies have signed deals for several projects worth US$600 million (S$852 million).

They include expansion of port facilities and improvement in highway networks, the Pakistani High Commission here said yesterday.

The agreements were announced on the final day of the three-day official visit by Pakistani Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto, who flew home yesterday evening.

Pakistan’s Board of Investment secretary, Mr Mohibullah Shah, said the agreements represented interest from the private sectors of the two countries for greater economic cooperation.

“Singapore could contribute towards Pakistan’s maritime and port development,” he said.

Ms Bhutto has invited businessmen to take part in US$5 billion worth of large-scale projects in Pakistan.

Prime Minister Goh Chok Tong said on Wednesday that Singapore will work to increase its trade with Pakistan and could attempt at playing a catalytic role to attract foreign investments into that country.

He said that the Trade Development Board will organise a business mission to Pakistan later this year. Also planned is a seminar on business opportunities in Pakistan.

The agreements for the various projects in Pakistan were signed by top executives of Singapore and Pakistani companies on Wednesday.

They included a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Singapore’s Promet Engineering and Karachi Port Trust (KPT) to set up a public sector container terminal at the East Wharves of Karachi port, according to a press release from Promet yesterday.

Pakistani officials said the various projects at Karachi port are expected to cost more than US$300 million.

Promet also signed two MOUs, both with Pakistan’s National Highway Authority, to develop the country’s transport infrastructure.

One project involves constructing a highway to ease traffic congestion in Karachi city. It is expected to cost US$180 million, said Pakistani officials.

Sembawang Maritime signed an MOU with KPT to develop privatised port services in Pakistan. These include the setting up of a commercial harbour tug service and a container terminal operation.

It also signed an MOU to look into the development of a deep water port at Gwadar on the western part of Pakistan. Sembawang Maritime will assist in assembling a consortium of prospective investors if the project is found to be commercially viable.

Besides these agreements, Sembawang Engineering signed an MOU with the Pakistan government to cooperate on a “build-own-operate” basis in industrial waste water and water treatment.

Posted in SingaporeTags