The groundbreaking ceremony of the Hyundai Nishat vehicle assembly plant at Faisalabad’s M-3 Industrial City took place on Wednesday, with local production of vehicles expected to begin within two years.
Hyundai Nishat Motor Ltd signed an investment agreement with the Ministry of Industries and Production under the Automotive Development Policy 2016-21 earlier this week to set up a greenfield project to undertake assembly and sale of passenger and one-tonne commercial vehicles.
The plant is a joint venture between the Hyundai Motor Company and local textile firm Nishat Mills.
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, while addressing the ceremony, said that despite Pakistan’s instabilities and issues over the last few years, “the path to progress has continued. This is manifestation of the trust the investor has in Pakistan’s policies.”
Abbasi assured attendees that the country was ripe for investment and the investors were beginning to see it. “Pakistan is not what you see on CNN, this is the real Pakistan,” he said. “Pakistan is a story of many successes,” he added. He thanked the Hyundai and Nishat groups for collaborating to invest in Pakistan.
Hyundai’s return to Pakistan will boost the government’s efforts to shake up the Japanese-dominated car market and loosen the grip of Toyota, Honda and Suzuki, who assemble cars in Pakistan with local partners.
Hyundai and South Korea’s Kia Motor used to assemble cars in Pakistan until 2004 but withdrew after their local partner Dewan Farooque Motors Limited went bust.
Nishat Mills is a subsidiary of Nishat Group, a giant in the Pakistani banking, textiles, energy and cement sectors.
Shahid Khaqan Abbasi reiterated that democracy is the best way to move forward for the nation. “A democratic system is the best way to move forward,” the prime minister said.
Abbasi also reiterated that the government will complete its tenure and elections will be held on time.
He further said that the electricity and gas shortages have been curtailed due to efforts of the present government.
The prime minister said that the new automobile policy has been successful in producing dividends.
“Dividends portray the confidence in stability and continuity of policy in Pakistan,” he said. “The biggest achievement in the last few years is the insulation of policies from political change.” The NML’s joint venture will produce HMC passenger cars and 1-ton range commercial vehicles in Pakistan.
The Prime Minister also mentioned the constructions of roads, highways and motorways across the country as well as the establishment of gas terminals during the last over four and a half years and said, the present government did not just utter words but delivered.
He also spoke about Pakistan’s privatization policy and said the transparent privatization of MCB Bank in 1990s – the first in privatization of financial institutions – was a success story.
The Prime Minister hoped that the establishment of Hyundai car plant in Faisalabad would help augment the industrial activity in the country. The Prime Minister also inaugurated textile unit of Nishat Mills at Faisalabad.