SEOUL AJU - A top executive of Lotte Chemical, a unit of South Korea’s fifth-largest conglomerate, hinted at making an additional investment in Pakistan, citing its strategic importance and growth potential that are high enough to offset many risk factors such as a great tax burden.
Lotte Chemical produces pure terephthalic acid (PTA) for textile and PET packaging industries from its subsidiary in Karachi. The company acquired Pakistan PTA Limited in September 2009 and changed its name to Lotte Chemical Pakistan Ltd. It was the single largest foreign direct investment to date in Pakistan’s petrochemical industry.
“Pakistan is a charming country for global companies to enter,” Lotte Chemical Rep Director Lim Byung-yeon told Aju Business Daily during an event organized by the Pakistani embassy in Seoul last week. He thinks Pakistan with a population of about 200 million has high growth potential despite many risk factors.
“Pakistan’s basic environment lags behind. However, countries with well-established requirements are expensive to invest and hard to expect high profitability,” Lim said, calling for a tight investment strategy. “Pakistan has a lot of risky and unorganized parts. In the long run, we can find attractive investment opportunities.”
After a turbulent period in 2018, Lotte stepped up its investment abroad, especially in Southeast Asia, to make up for its failure in China that forced a strategic change in the group’s overall business, reflecting a new initiative by group chairman Shin Dong-bin.
“By respecting the national values of Pakistan and maintaining good relations, we will be able to find good opportunities for additional investment in the future,” Lim Said.