Malaysian PM Mahathir gifts luxury car to PM Imran

10:15 PM | 16 Dec, 2019
Malaysian PM Mahathir gifts luxury car to PM Imran
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ISLAMABAD - Malaysian car manufacturer PROTON delivered X70 to Pakistan government as per promise made by the Malaysian Prime Minister Dr Mahathir Mohamad to Prime Minister Imran Khan during his visit to Pakistan earlier this year.

The X70 was received by Adviser to Prime Minister for Commerce, Textile, Industry & Production, and Investment Abdul Razak Dawood on behalf of the Prime Minister in a handover ceremony held here on Monday and delivered by Malaysian High Commissioner to Pakistan Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim on behalf of Prime Minister of Malaysia.

Production activities of PROTON cars in Pakistan are scheduled to begin in 2021 with plans being formulated for the assembly of several models in the country.

This will assist the company in achieving its long term goals to sell 400,000 vehicles by 2027.

The new CKD assembly plant in Karachi will be built with an initial investment of USD30 million and will create 2,000 direct employment opportunities in its first three years of operations.

It is estimated that a further 20,000 indirect jobs will also be created as a result of the new plant being commissioned, he said.

Speaking on the occasion Abdul Razak Dawood welcomed the Malaysian Automobile manufacturers for its pledge to establish manufacturing plant in Pakistan.

“The PROTON cars observe a lot of potential in Pakistan and as Malaysia is the only Muslim country to have its own automotive brand, both the countries are natural partners who have so much to share with each other”, he said.

The Advisor said that under a joint venture, PROTON would usher in a new era of auto manufacturing in the country.

“I see it as a beginning for more partnership between Pakistan and Malaysia in future.” he said.

The adviser said present government always laid great emphasis on creating an investment ecosystem for both foreign and local investors.

He said that Pakistan offers attractive investment opportunities and substantial returns in various sector of economy.

He said that the government is playing a significant role in facilitating entrepreneur and ease of doing business and there is an enabling environment of investment in various sectors including Information Technology, financial services, engineering, goods and textiles.

The adviser said that in consonance with the international best practices in car manufacturing, the federal cabinet has recently approved an electric vehicle (EV) policy for Pakistan which is also a step towards achieving sustainable development.

Currently, trade between Pakistan and Malaysia is being regulated under Malaysia-Pakistan closer Economic Partnership Agreement encompassing goods, services and investment, he said.

Both countries are working on further extending the trade ties through Malaysia Pakistan closer Economic Partnership Agreement Phase II.

He said that the government of Pakistan encouraged the Malaysian investors to come and invest in Pakistan.

He said that on behalf of all Pakistan “I convey deep love and gratitude to our Malaysian brothers for extending huge cooperation and investment in Pakistan”.

Speaking on the potential for improved business ties between the two countries, the High Commissioner of Malaysia Ikram Mohammad Ibrahim said “The High Commission of Malaysia is supportive of the efforts between PROTON and ALHAJ Automotive to sell and then assemble Proton vehicles in Pakistan”.

He said that such commercial activities will contribute towards fostering closer and stronger economic ties between the two brotherly countries.

High commissioner said that Malaysia certainly looks forward to welcoming Prime Minister Imran Khan when he arrives in Kuala Lumpur for the 2019 KL Summit later this week.”

He said that by building an assembly plant in Pakistan with ALHAJ Automotive, PROTON hopes to take advantage of reduced duties for CKD vehicles in the country.

Chairman of ALHAJ Automotive the official distributor for Proton vehicles in Pakistan, Al-Haj Shah Jee Gul Afridi said that ‘ALHAJ Automotive’ will leverage on its current dealerships located nationwide to start selling Proton vehicles as soon as possible while “we are developing standalone 3S/4S outlets.”

“We will source CBU units from Malaysia to kick things off in Pakistan before switching to locally assembled units once the new assembly plant begins operations,” said Al-Haj Shah.