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PM Shehbaz seeks Turkish investment for 10,000MW solar project: “My investor is my master”

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made a pitch to Turkish entrepreneurs on Saturday to invest in a 10,000-megawatt solar power project for Pakistan, saying that “my investor is my master.”

The prime minister requested the investment while speaking at a meeting of the Pakistan-Turkey Business Council in Istanbul, where he later paid a two-day visit.

He told the investors that his government was determined to reduce “very expensive” imports of oil and petroleum products, which cost $27 billion last year. “We simply cannot afford it.”

So, he explained, his government had invited foreign investment for a 10,000MW solar power project at a conference in Islamabad about a month and a half ago.

The PM approved the solar project’s execution in September as part of measures to reduce the import bill.

“It’s not just a paper, a talk, or a feasibility study,” he said today of the project. “I, along with my colleagues, […] am committed to this philosophy, and we will carry it out in letter and spirit with our own resources, with investment from Turkey, China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE (United Arab Emirates), the United States of America, and wherever.”

He assured the investors that the Pakistani government would create a favourable, enabling, and welcoming environment for them to invest in the project.

“Please try to understand that the past is the past, and we are walking into the future with great understanding; learn from the past.”

We will proceed with the understanding that my investor is my master. And that’s what I believe — not today, but throughout history — and that’s what we’ll do in the future,” he assured his audience.

“Please be ready with your coffers open,” he urged, announcing that his government would hold a special conference for “my Turkish brothers and sisters” where the project’s plan would be presented.

He also assured the investors that they would be paid promptly.

“It will be an entirely new experience.” “Within 60 days, Turkish investors, and, of course, all international investors, will be paid without recourse to any third party,” he said, adding that the payments would be quick and transparent.

The premier stated that he believed it would be a “gateway to a new order in Pakistan,” allowing the country to save billions of dollars by reducing fuel imports.

“Please believe me, believe my words. Come to Pakistan, and I will show you that, God willing, we will be great partners in this great investment portfolio, creating a win-win situation,” he urged the investors. “You will profit handsomely, and we will benefit from solar energy.”

PM Shehbaz assured them that the bidding process would be transparent, fair, and free of bureaucratic red tape.

He also asked Pakistan’s ambassador in Istanbul to help Turkish investors come to Pakistan.

“Please visit Pakistan. Brother Naveed Qamar will meet you at the airport, roll out the red carpet […] and I will break bread with you and have a full discussion there. And we won’t open the doors until we have a firm and concrete understanding of everything,” he told the investors.

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