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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Punjab aims to emulate Malaysia's success in low-cost housing

ISLAMABAD: Malaysian expertise in low-cost housing for workers is expected to become the catalyst for the entry of more foreign direct investment in the booming industrial sector in Pakistan.

Punjab Industrial Estates Development and Management Company (PIE) chief executive officer Sabir P. Chohan said Malaysia's track record in the housing industry was expected to provide added benefit to efforts to woo FDI.

He said the government of Punjab was in the midst of negotiations with Malaysian housing giant, Renexus, on the proposed construction of 50,000 low-cost houses at industrial zones in Punjab.

The first area that could see Malaysian-built units could be the Sundar Industrial Estate, an hour out of Lahore.
"We have been in contact with Renexus and had hoped for a memorandum of understanding to be signed on November 26. But it has been postponed to a later date," he told a group of visiting Malaysian journalists.

Sabir said the chief minister of Punjab, Shahbaz Sharif, had issued specific instructions to PIE to emulate the Malaysian model in building housing for workers at industrial estates.

Sabir said two Malaysian companies - Bandaraya Development and Maxcorp Husnain Private Ltd - were already making a name for themselves in construction in Punjab, the largest of the four provinces with a population of 110 million.

Bandaraya Development has developed a top-class tourist project while Maxcorp was involved in redesigning, developing, financing and operating activities of the former Pakistan Railway Club.

On whether Punjab would follow the example of neighbouring Sindh province in creating an exclusive economic zone for Malaysian investors, he said the state provincial government had given the green light for the project.

By Business Times (by Balan Moses) Posted on 9 Nov 2009

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