Diaspora (Overseas) Bond

 SBI pre-feasibility study likely to be completed by December

Country Manager, Shore Bank International (SBI), Pakistan, Amjad Ali Arbab said that pre-feasibility study of multi-faceted Diaspora (Overseas) Bond, which his organisation has now embarked upon, will hopefully complete by December 2013 and later its findings would be shared with the GoP and other nation building departments for economic revitalisation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata.

Addressing a daylong consultation seminar, organised by SBI, Pakistan on the pre-feasibility study for the Diaspora Bond here at Peshawar Garrison Services Club, he said work on pre-feasibility study of Diaspora Bond had been initiated and expressed optimism to complete that study by December 2013.

He said KP govt and Fata Secretariat in collaboration with the World Bank had conceived a project “Economic Revitalisation in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Fata (ERKP)” with combined allocation of 20 million dollars including 13 million dollars share of KP and seven million dollars injected by Fata for industrial and economic rehabilitation of the militancy and flood-affected areas of those regions. He said the project was being funded under Multi Donors Trust Fund (MDTF) and administered by the WB.

Amjad Arbab said one of the main components of the project was conducting pre-feasibility study for “Diaspora Bond” with an objective to attain long-term and sustainable economic growth in KP and Fata. The project has hired the services of Shore Bank International for conducting pre-feasibility study for launching of a possible Diaspora Bond for Overseas Pakistan.

“This would be the first study of its kind to be conducted in the context of Pakistan and will prove a guideline and roadmap for future governments and others concerned quarters,” he said. Under the bond, he said attractive incentives would be offered to overseas Pakistanis particularly those living in the Middle East, Europe and the US to invest in their areas of interest and contribute in development of Pakistan.

He said preliminary meetings had already been held with concerned officials of the departments and their response was extremely positive. The objectives of the workshop was to get valuable inputs of all the stakeholders including government, State Bank of Pakistan, Commercial Banks and others nation building departments to make that study comprehensive and goal oriented, he remarked.

The purpose of the workshop is to discuss the relevance of a Diaspora Bond for KP and Fata while reviewing the needs, justifications and mechanics for its successful launch. “We would also share this study with oversee Pakistanis in UAE, Saudi Arabia, UK, Canada, US and Malaysia before its submission to the Government,” he added. Areas identified during the workshop for Diaspora (overseas Pakistani) investment include hydel, energy, mineral, tourism, housing, agriculture, gems, warehouses, construction industry and minerals etc.

The speakers said efforts were required to mobilise overseas Pakistani to amplify private investment for KP and Fata in an effort to attain long terms employment generation for sustainable economic growth. For this purpose, the use of effective utilisation of different tools of mass media was stressed. The other speakers said the bond if approved would help target around seven million overseas Pakistani that had contributed around 8.9 billion dollars in terms of foreign remittance to the country economy during 2010

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