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South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) organize inception seminar at Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI); Sensitize business community to invest in forestry sector

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December 01, 2016: South Punjab Forest Company (SPFC) in collaboration with the Sialkot Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) organized an inception seminar at SCCI, to sensitize the business community about the opportunities available in the forestry sector. The seminar began with a welcome address by Dr. Khurram Anwar Khawaja, Former President, and Chairman, Departmental Committee on Education, SCCI, who thanked the participants and urged the business community to invest in the forestry sector for a sustainable future.

It was followed by a presentation by Tahir Rasheed, CEO, SPFC, on Investment Opportunities in Forestry Sector in South Punjab. He informed the participants about the various kinds of forests that exist in Pakistan, which includes arid sub-tropical forest; dry sclerophylous and tropical deciduous forest, dry temperate coniferous, Himalayan moist temperate forest, mangroves, alpine meadows, alpine dry steppe, sub-tropical pine forest and tropical thorn forest.

According to Tahir Rasheed, ‘The total investable and leasable global forestlands are estimated to be over 870 million hectares which worth more than US $ 480 billion. With global forestry investments increasing at 20 per cent annually over the past 20 years, clearly indicating that forestry sector offers low risk with high returns.’

Tahir Rasheed further informed that SPFC has been mandated to promote afforestation on 134,995 acres of allotted land across six districts of South Punjab, which includes, Bahawalpur, Bahawalnagar, Rahim Yar Khan, Rajanpur, Muzaffargarh and D.G. Khan. The initiative will ensure that the investment is capable of sound financial performance for a period of 15 years. This will be further extended to another period of 15 years, if the investor adheres to the agreement. The initiative will increase sustainable forestry investments, thus creating green jobs and also reducing logging pressure on the existing forests of Pakistan.

The presentation was followed by Q&A session. The seminar also aimed to incorporate the views of SCCI representatives to make the process inclusive, which can be incorporated in the upcoming feasibility study.

Dr. Aslam Dar, Former President and Chairman SMEs Committee, gave the concluding remarks and hoped that the initiative will bring a green revolution and contribute to the GDP.

More photos of this event can be found here.

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