Strategy drawn up to revive national economy

Punjab minister says efforts are under way to woo foreign investors


Imran Rana March 31, 2019
PHOTO: REUTERS

FAISALABAD: Punjab in general and Faisalabad in particular are ready to play a pivotal role in strengthening the national economy while the government is making serious endeavours to attract maximum foreign direct investment to promote trade and industry across the country, said a provincial minister.

Inaugurating the Faisalabad Expo 2019, which was the second of a series, at the Expo Centre Lahore, Punjab Minister for Industry, Commerce and Investment Mian Aslam Iqbal pointed out that though Pakistan was passing through a deep crisis, the government had drawn up a comprehensive strategy to revive the national economy on a sustainable basis.

Outlining overall performance of the present government over the past eight months, Iqbal said exports had recorded a modest increase while imports had gone down considerably. “Similarly, foreign remittances are also rising steadily.”

He mentioned the steps taken by the government to cut down the cost of doing business in addition to creating a climate conducive for business in the country.

He was of the view that recent measures had attracted many foreign investors, who planned to invest in mega industrial projects. He voiced hope that new offshore oil and gas reserves would be found near Karachi, which would help Pakistan to overcome a prolonged energy crisis.

“With this recovery, Pakistan will become an economically stable country for many decades. It will also help Pakistan to overcome poverty, illiteracy and diseases in addition to creating maximum jobs for the youth,” he remarked.

Appreciating Faisalabad’s role in enhancing textile exports, the minister said, “We are trying to facilitate the city so that it can step up efforts to bridge the wide gap between imports and exports.”

He underlined the need for effective marketing of Pakistani products and called it a bold initiative of Faisalabad which showcased its products during the exhibition.

Also, space has been allocated in the M3 Industrial Estate for the construction of a state-of-the-art Expo Centre in Faisalabad. “It will provide an opportunity for the businessmen of Faisalabad to regularly organise exhibitions and introduce their quality products in a congenial and peaceful environment,” Iqbal remarked.

The minister will take up the issue of funding for this mega project with the federal government and has already requested Adviser to Prime Minister on Commerce Abdul Razaq Dawood to release required funds from the Export Development Fund.

He appreciated the quality of “Made in Faisalabad” products. “It is very encouraging that our industrialists are manufacturing world-class and most popular brands for international retail store chains,” he said.

The minister pointed out that the entire 4,200 acres of land had been sold in the biggest M3 Industrial Estate being developed in Faisalabad. The Punjab government has sanctioned Rs6 billion for the purchase of an additional 3,000 acres of land for the second phase of the project.

He emphasised that best facilities of international standards would be provided in the industrial estate, which had already been declared Special Economic Zone under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).

Published in The Express Tribune, March 31st, 2019.

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