During his visit, Jack Ma avoided interactions with Pakistan government officials and media
Chinese billionaire and co-founder of Alibaba Group, Jack Ma, has created a stir among observers with his unexpected visit to Pakistan, according to the Express Tribune newspaper.
The Express Tribune is a daily English-language newspaper based in Pakistan.
Former Chairman of the Board of Investment (BOI), Muhammad Azfar Ahsan, confirmed the visit to The Express Tribune, stating that Ma arrived in Lahore on June 29 and stayed for 23 hours.
Jack Ma, during the visit, avoided interactions with government officials and the media. He resided at a private location and left on June 30 via a private jet registered under the name VP-CMA, owned by Jet Aviation.
While the purpose of Ma's visit remains confidential at this point, there is hope that it will yield positive outcomes for Pakistan in the days to come, according to Ahsan, The Express Tribune reported.
Ma was accompanied by a delegation of seven businessmen, consisting of five Chinese nationals, one Danish individual, and one US citizen. They arrived in Pakistan from Nepal via a chartered flight from Hong Kong's business aviation sector.
There have been various speculations on social media about Ma and his team exploring business opportunities in Pakistan, including visits to trade centres and meetings with prominent businessmen and officials from various chambers of commerce. However, there has been no confirmation regarding any specific business deals or meetings.
Ahsan in a tweet clarified that Ma's visit was strictly for personal purposes. Interestingly, even the Chinese embassy was unaware of the details of Ma's visit and engagements in the country, he said.
Speaking to the Express Tribune, P@SHA Chairman Zohaib Khan remarked, "Although it was a personal visit, it helped enhance Pakistan's reputation from a tourism standpoint."
Khan expressed the view that Pakistani authorities should have taken the opportunity to arrange a meeting with Ma and gain insights from his seasoned experience in the IT world. He said even a statement from Ma regarding Pakistan's IT sector would have significant impact.