Prime Minister Raja Parvez Ashraf has expressed satisfaction with Pakistan’s financial stability, and claimed that the economy has sustained crises in Europe and around the world. He made these remarks while talking to State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Yaseen Anwar here on Tuesday.
During talks, he stressed that investment in the energy sector was crucial, and that exploitation of the Thar coal reserves is key for a prosperous Pakistan.
The SBP Governor briefed the prime minister on the state of the national economy and central bank’s measures to ensure financial stability on a sustainable basis. He said Pakistan’s currency swap agreements with China and Turkey will boost trade with the friendly countries.
Yaseen said the opening of branches of Chinese bank ICBC in Islamabad and Karachi would greatly encourage Chinese investors to invest in Pakistan. “The Bank of China and Bankazi – Turkey’s largest private bank – also plan to open branches in Pakistan, which is a good omen for investments,” he noted.
Board of Investment meeting
The prime minister also chaired a meeting of the Board of Investment (BOI) here on Tuesday, during which he urged the simplification of procedures to attract foreign direct investment. He also directed extension of incentives to local investors so that the latter continue to play their role in the development of the country’s economy.
The prime minister said Pakistan is a liberalised economy and offers equal treatment to local and foreign investors. He noted that most sectors are open for foreign investment with complete legal protection. The Prime Minister added that due to its rich resource potential, Pakistan is a preferred destination for foreign investors.
The prime minister claimed that there were numerous opportunities for foreign investors, especially in the sectors of engineering, power, horticulture and manufacturing. He said Pakistan ranked among middle income countries, and the presence of a large middle class provided a vast local market to new and expanding businesses. “These facts about Pakistan should be aggressively projected to enhance foreign investment inflows in our country,” the prime minister stressed.
The prime minister reiterated that despite challenges in the recent past, Pakistan’s economy has remained resilient against the global economic meltdown in spite of devastating floods in 2010 and 2011, coupled with internal and external security problems faced by the country. The country’s exports amounted to $25.439 billion in 2010-11, and are expected to grow further, he claimed.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 4th, 2012.
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