Exxon Mobil to re-enter Pakistani market after 27 years

  • A delegation of Texas-based oil and gas giant called on PM Imran Khan on Wednesday
Business

ISLAMABAD – Exxon Mobil, the world’s biggest oil and gas company, has announced that it will reinvest in Pakistani market after a gap of nearly three decades.

A company’s delegation, led by LNG Market Development Chairperson Emma Cochrane, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday at the PM House and informed him of projects.

The PM welcomed the resumption of Exxon Mobil operations in Pakistan and assured the delegation of free and safe business operations in the South Asian country.

The Texas-based firm has made major strides to re-enter the Pakistani market to start country’s first offshore oil drilling. Exxon Mobil also plans to build Pakistan’s third import liquefied natural gas (LNG) terminal in partnership with Pakistani consortium Energas.

Earlier today, a delegation of Pepsi executives called on PM Imran Khan and shared the soft drink giant’s plan of making a massive investment in Pakistan in coming years.

Pepsi to pour $1.2 billion into Pakistan

Pepsi planned to make “a further investment of $1.2 billion” in next five years, the PM Office said on Wednesday, after the company’s chief executive for Asia, Middle East and North Africa, Mike Spanos, led a Pepsi delegation that met Khan.

Another beverage brand, Coca Cola that has a $500 million business already in Pakistan also pledged a planned $200m investment in the coming two to three years, Khan’s office added in a separate statement on Tuesday.

Coca Cola to invest $200m in Pakistan

Khan, who assumed power in August, has inherited a wobbly economy reeling from a ballooning current account deficit, which has prompted the government to seek loans from allies China and Saudi Arabia, as well as enter bailout talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

But many consumer companies see Pakistan, the world’s sixth most populous country, as a hot consumer market due to its fast-growing population of 208 million people.

Khan told the delegations that Pakistan was committed to facilitate businesses and investors in Pakistan, where 100 million people are below the age of 30.

Yesterday, Finance Minister Asad Umar tweeted that Japanese automaker Suzuki is also mulling over investing $450 million to expand car production in Pakistan.

Pakistan’s economy has been rising in recent years due to a sharp reduction in electricity blackouts and a steep drop in militant attacks, which was a major deterrent to foreign investment. China’s pledge to loan $60 billion in infrastructure spending has also helped growth.

Despite this, growth, which hit 5.8 percent growth in 12 months to end of June, is due to fall below 5 percent in coming years, according to the IMF.

The IMF predicted in October that Pakistan’s growth will slow to 4 percent in 2019 and fall to about 3 percent in the medium term.