Pakistan now viable, safe for local, foreign investment: commerce minister


Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram Dastgir Khan said Saturday that all economic indicators of the country showed positive trends during the last year, as Pakistan had now become a viable and safe place for local and foreign investment.

Addressing a ceremony during his visit to 3rd Pakistan Mega Leather Show-2017 here at Expo Centre, he said that the government not only succeeded to restore peace in the country by defeating terrorism and extremism, but also managed to overcome substantially energy crisis.

Dastgir said that Pakistan was being linked with the world through the mega project of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), while democracy had also been strengthened.

On completion of 70 years of Pakistan’s existence, he mentioned, a campaign would be launched to apprise the international community that Pakistan had made considerable achievements on many counts.

The minister said the PM’s special package of Rs180 billion for the export sector would definitely increase total exports volume of the country.

He said now criticism and debate on free trade agreements (FTAs) should end, citing that FTAs with Sri Lanka, Malaysia, China and other countries had made a huge difference in Pakistan’s exports, which recorded an increment of two to four times. “These agreements also help us to connect with the world,” he added.

He said Pakistani leather had its own standard and classification in the world.

He was of the view that Pakistan’s rating was now improving fast because of effective and viable economic policies of PM Nawaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

He said Pakistan would manage to bridge electricity demand and supply gap by the end of current year, as the energy projects initiated by the present government had now proved that country would soon get rid of load shedding. Out of USD 46 billion investment by China under the CPEC, he mentioned, USD 35 billion was being spent on energy projects.

Dastgir said, in 2013, Pakistan was plunged into darkness due to severe energy shortage, but due to effective and timely measures of the present government, the country was fast recovering from the energy crisis and re-connecting with the world. Despite all odds, democratic process in Pakistan was strengthening, he maintained.

He was of the belief that Pakistan of 2017 would be far better, developed and prosperous than that of 2013.

He also sought the names of representatives of leather sector associations so as to issue notification regarding Leather Export Council, asserting that problems pertaining to testing of goods would be resolved through Export Development Fund to ensure an easy access to Pakistani products to various global markets.

The minister also called upon the business community to play their due role in highlighting the soft and real image of Pakistan to the world.

On this occasion, Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) Chairman SM Munir, Director-General Mian Riaz Ahmed, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Chairman Anjum Zafar, Pakistan Footwear Manufacturing Association (PFMA) Chairman Javed Iqbal Siddiqui, Pakistan Leather Garments Association Chairman Atif Ashraf, European Union’s Deputy Ambassador and other prominent business leaders were also present.


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