Economy on the right path, Hafeez Shaikh tells US investors

Finance adviser woos heads of big banks, companies to invest in Pakistan

​ Our Correspondent October 20, 2019
PM's Advisor Hafeez Shaikh with his delegation in a group photo with members of US-Pakistan Business Council in Washington DC. PHOTO: PID

ISLAMABAD: Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that Pakistan’s economy is on the right path to stabilisation and the US businesses should benefit from investment opportunities available in the country.

“The US companies should expand their footprint in Pakistan,” said the finance adviser while attending a roundtable discussion with senior executives of the US-Pakistan Business Council. The council hosted a luncheon in his honour and members of the Pakistani delegation at the US Chamber of Commerce.

According to a statement issued by the Finance Division on Sunday, the Pakistani delegation led by Dr Shaikh is currently visiting the US to attend the IMF/WB annual meetings-2019.

Talking to US-Pakistan Business Council members at the luncheon roundtable, the adviser highlighted the government’s focus on improving the ease-of-doing-business in Pakistan.

The roundtable was attended by senior executives of the USPBC member companies, including S&P Global, PepsiCo, Motorola Solutions Inc, Citi, Google, ExxonMobil and others.

Later, Shaikh along with members of his delegation met Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) President Mr Jin Liqun.

They discussed the AIIB portfolio in Pakistan and potential areas of project financing by the bank.

The AIIB president reiterated support for Pakistan’s development agenda, saying that AIIB was ready to increase funding for Pakistan’s priority development sectors.

He said investment in infrastructure projects had a long-term positive impact on growth.

The adviser invited the AIIB president to visit Pakistan which the latter accepted.

Shaikh and his team also met Islamic Development Bank (IDB) President Dr Bandar M H Hajjar and briefed him on the current economic situation in the country.

The adviser thanked the president for IDB’s technical and financial support to Pakistan.

The IDB president informed that Pakistan had been identified as one of the first countries which would be supported by the bank for strengthening market competitiveness in its core sectors.

An IDB mission would soon visit the country for this purpose.

Meanwhile, Sheikh also held a meeting with Nena Stoiljkovic, Vice President of the IFC—a sister organisation of the World Bank and member of the WB Group as well as the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in developing countries.

Stoiljkovic and her team briefed the adviser about IFC’s pipeline of projects in Pakistan, particularly in the wind and solar sectors and also expressed interest in providing advisory services for structuring public-private partnership transactions.

The Pakistani delegation also attended the Annual Plenary of the IMF and WB Group which was addressed by WB President David Malpass and IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva.

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