Voice of the Mountain People

Indonesia willing to invest in Gilgit-Baltistan agriculture sector

Posted by Gilgit Tribune on January 6, 2010

LAHORE: Gilgit-Baltistan has huge investment opportunities in agriculture and medicinal herbs as the area is not only the gateway to China and Central Asian States, but also has a well-established infrastructure.

This was the crux of the presentations given at Gilgit-Baltistan Investment conference held at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Tuesday. Indonesian Ambassador Isak Latuconsina, LCCI President Zafar Iqbal Chaudhry, Adviser to the Governor Gilgit-Baltistan Mian Shafqat Ali and LCCI former president Mian Anjum Nisar also spoke on the occasion.

Due to ideally suited climate and abundant water resources both the sectors have marvelous chances for vertical and horizontal expansion but unfortunately the sectors could not be developed to the desired levels for want of due participation of the private sector, said Gilgit-Baltistan Chief Drugs Inspector Kifayatullah Khan and Gilgit-Baltistan Agriculture Department’s Javaid Akhtar. Availability of trained contract farmers, well established tissue culture laboratories, storage and certification facilities make it convenient for the business community to put their money in these sectors. Gilgit-Baltistan horticulture policy also ensures a number of incentives to the private sector by reducing regulatory barriers.

Soft loans are also available to the businessmen for the development of modern horticulture business enterprises while expansion of Karakorum Highway and opening up of Babusar-Naraan Road are the added advantages. Speaking on the occasion, Indonesian ambassador said that there was no doubt in it that Pakistan’s private sector had the ability to write new success stories and the LCCI initiative would definitely go a long way in bringing Gilgit-Baltistan at par with other developed parts of the countries.

The ambassador said that Indonesia was ready to extend maximum cooperation to Gilgit-Baltistan government in its efforts aimed at bringing progress and prosperity in the area. The ambassador said that the Indonesian government was ready to help Gilgit-Baltistan government in exploration of coal and mining. Indonesia has the expertise in these areas and the sharing of technical skills could create a win-win situation.

The LCCI president said that agriculture was one of the potential areas for investment in the shape of production, preservation and marketing of quality fruits and vegetable seeds. He said that the very objective of arranging Gilgit-Baltistan Investment Week at the LCCI was to bring the area in the mainstream of the business activities because no government in the past paid any attention towards tapping the potentials of this part of the country. He said that the LCCI had decided to expand cooperation with the Gilgit-Baltistan government in the larger interests of the economy. He said that in a number of sectors, Gilgit-Baltistan had no match in the world and only because of little value-addition facilities these sectors could not grow. Speaking on the occasion, advisor to the governor Gilgit-Baltistan said that that organic farming has a very huge potential for investment because of the availability of a very hardworking human resource. He said that the sectors like hydro energy, dry food, and precious stones are the actual treasure, which, if thoroughly tapped, will change the fate of this region. Daily times

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