Economic revival attracts global investors

Finance minister says prudent economic governance boosts investor confidence

APP May 08, 2024


Finance Minister Senator Muhammad Aurangzeb highlighted on Tuesday that the economic indicators of the country were moving in a positive direction, significantly boosting the confidence of foreign investors in Pakistan’s economic governance. He highlighted that investors from the European Union, the United States, and Saudi Arabia had visited Pakistan, engaging in ongoing discussions.

This statement was made during a press conference where he was accompanied by Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Attaullah Tarar and Federal Minister for Law, Azam Nazeer Tarar. Aurangzeb underscored that the recent visit of a Saudi investor delegation to Pakistan was a pivotal step in fostering economic cooperation between the two countries. He outlined that the government’s priorities included promoting export-led growth, encouraging Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), and facilitating access to capital.

The finance minister attributed the readiness of foreign investors to invest in Pakistan to the prudent economic policies implemented by the government and the positive trajectory of economic indicators. He said that all economic indicators in the country were exhibiting positive trends, serving as evidence of the nation’s economic progress. Furthermore, he pointed out that there was a current account surplus, stable foreign reserves amounting to $15 billion, and plans to increase the tax-to-Gross Domestic Product (GDP) ratio from 9% to 13%.

Additionally, Aurangzeb highlighted the achievement of record federal revenue by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in the current fiscal year. He noted a decrease in inflation to 17% and observed an upward trend in the shares of the Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX), indicating continuous market stabilisation.

The minister disclosed that a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would soon visit Pakistan to discuss an upcoming extensive IMF programme for the country. Aurangzeb also mentioned the significant burden that pensions impose on the economy, stating the necessity for restructuring and proposing an increase in the retirement age to 65 years.

Furthermore, he mentioned efforts to reduce expenditure, with a focus on prioritising State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) to alleviate government expenses. He reiterated the continuation of the privatisation process to further reduce the government’s financial burden. Aurangzeb stressed the crucial role of the private sector in the nation’s economy, indicating plans to strengthen its involvement.

He also mentioned ongoing efforts to formulate short, medium, and long-term strategies for achieving macroeconomic stability and further developing the country’s economy. Aurangzeb highlighted the government’s dedication to implementing structural economic reforms.

In the past two weeks, he noted the exchange of three high-level delegations between Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, signalling a commitment to enhancing bilateral relations and fostering economic cooperation.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 8th, 2024.

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