ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that the impressive macroeconomic indicators, as monitored and assessed by international financial institutions, present a picture of sustainable growth and economic stability in Pakistan.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave a clean chit to Pakistan’s economic health, which led to engagement with major financial institutions, he added.
Dar was addressing a gathering of Canadian and Pakistani businessmen, entrepreneurs and professionals at an interactive session organised jointly by the Consulate General of Pakistan in Toronto and Canada-Pakistan Business Council (CPBC), says a message received here.
Canadian parliamentarians including Senator Salma Ataullahjan, MP John McCallum, MP Brad Butt, Ontario Minister of Research and Innovation, Dr Reza Moridi and MPP Dr Shafiq Qaadri were present on the occasion.
He said the economic performance would enable Pakistan to enter the international bond market after seven years of absence. He outlined the policy steps taken by the government to address the challenges to the economy, energy crisis and security issues.
Dar shared the news about a significant increase in foreign investment due to restoration of investors’ confidence on the back of strengthening rupee against the US dollar and other currencies.
On tackling security, the minister said the government was determined to deal with extremism decisively and eradicate the problem. “Pakistan wants to give peace a chance.”
He regretted that despite sacrifices, colossal economic losses and sincere efforts, some elements had continued to blame Pakistan.
Dar told the Canadians and Pakistani community that Pakistan was on the path of economic recovery and cited economist Jim O’Neil’s prediction that by 2050 it would be the 18th largest economy of the world.
He expressed confidence that with exploitation of hydrocarbon reserves and other natural resources, the milestone could be achieved much earlier.
He stressed that the government was adhering to the 4Es of the election manifesto, which were economy, energy, education and eradication of extremism.
On the issue of Afghanistan, the minister underlined Pakistan’s firm commitment to peace and stability. “We recently enhanced the commitment to $500 million in development and humanitarian projects, including a kidney centre.”
MP John McCallum, the former chief economist, agreed that Pakistan indeed was full of potential.
Senator Salma Ataullahjan praised Pakistani community’s contribution to the development and progress of Canada. She assured Dar that Canada wished to work closely with Pakistan in diverse areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 8th, 2014.
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