–Imran addresses World Govt Summit, says reforms undertaken by PTI govt have started to bear fruit
–Says PTI govt tackling fiscal deficit by increasing exports, attracting investment
–UAE crown prince receives PM at airport, both discuss bilateral cooperation in meeting
DUBAI: Prime Minister Imran Khan has urged foreign businessmen to invest in Pakistan as the country was ripe for investment owing to economic reforms taken by his government.
The prime minister, who is on a one-day trip to Dubai for the 7th World Government Summit, addressed the moot on Sunday.
During his keynote address to the audience that included world leaders, policymakers and businessmen, the PM give an account of reforms taken by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) to improve the country’s economic outlook.
“This is the time – my last word to the investors– this is the time to come to Pakistan when it is just going on the upswing. This is the time to invest in the country and don’t miss the boat,” the premier said.
He said, “The government was pursuing a reform agenda, which include facilitating ease of doing business, reform in tax laws, and investor-friendly measures, to develop Pakistan’s economy on modern lines.
He invited investors to take advantage of business-friendly policies of the government by investing in various sectors of Pakistan, especially the tourism sector given its huge potential. “Signs of improvement taking place due to the reforms can already be seen,” he implored.
The PM, who has been vocal about his government’s laissez-faire approach towards economy, said that the investors must be allowed to make money and for that reason, the government was altering its “very cumbersome” tax laws.
Imran made a point in a sometimes-rambling address to repeatedly hit on the need for economic reforms as IMF chief Christine Lagarde looked on from the audience.
“I repeat the reforms are painful. It’s like a surgery. When you conduct surgery for a while the patient suffers but that improves,” Khan said. “The worst thing that can happen for society is that you keep postponing reforms because of the fear that you would have opposition, the vested interests stand up and you don’t do reforms.”
Espousing the Madina-like welfare state in his address, he said the PTI government was committed to the model of an Islamic welfare state and it would stick to the principles of justice, humanity, merit, and accountability.
Imran said the Madina promised that non-Muslims places of worship would be protected, there would be no forcible conversions, and human rights would be respected, adding that the PTI wanted to develop Pakistan on the same principles.
‘PAKISTAN WOULD TAKE OFF’:
Prime Minister Imran Khan said during his international cricketing career, he had seen a lot of players with immense talent but they never made it big for being scared of losing and did not take risks. Eventually, the ones, who took both chances and risks, were the ones who made it big, he added.
Highlighting his government’s measures to tackle fiscal deficit by increasing the exports and attracting the investment, the prime minister said it was the time “Pakistan would take off”.
He said the government had opened up the market to investors and allowed them to make money that would ultimately bring the people out of poverty.
He said the government was bringing serious reforms to bring ease of doing business, besides introducing tax reforms.
Citing the immense tourism potential in Pakistan, the prime minister said his country was home to one of the best mountains, half of the world’s highest peaks, 1000 kilometers long coastline, the oldest civilisations and the oldest living cities. “Besides, Pakistan also has a huge potential of religious tourism as it was home to the worship places of Hindus, Sikhs and Buddhism. For Sufism, we have the highest number of Sufi shrines,” he added.
The prime minister said Pakistan had opened up its visa regime and announced visa on arrival facility for 70 countries.
MEETS ABU DHABI CP:
The premier also held a bilateral meeting Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.
The two leaders had a tete-e-tete on matters of bilateral and international interests and strengthening cooperation in diverse fields, according to a press release issued by the PM Office.
Upon his arrival at the Royal Air Wing Dubai, the prime minister was warmly received by Crown Prince Al Nahyan.
He was accompanied by Foreign Minister Makhdoom Shah Mahmood Qureshi, Finance Minister Asad Umar, Minister for Maritime Affairs Syed Ali Haider Zaidi, Advisor to PM on Commerce Abdul Razzak Dawood and Advisor to PM on Institutional Reforms Dr Ishrat Hussain.
Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi, while speaking to media persons before departing to the UAE, said that governance is an important issue in the region in general and Pakistan in particular.
He explained that bad governance has created a lot of problems currently being faced by the country. He said the premier has been trying to introduce a fresh model and reforms for improvement in the performance of institutions.
Meanwhile, the premier also met his UAE counterpart on the sidelines of the summit in Dubai. During the meeting, PM Imran and Prime Minister of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Rashid bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum underscored the importance of greater collaboration in all areas of common interest, especially in enhancing investment and trade, a PM Office statement here said.
7TH WORLD GOVERNMENT SUMMIT:
The seventh session of the World Government Summit kicked off on Sunday in Dubai, with the participation of more than 4,000 people from 140 countries.
The summit is an annual gathering of heads of states and governments, policymakers and experts. The summit provides an opportunity to discuss improvement in governance through reform, innovation and technology.
“Human being is the centre of the World Government Summit. Our main aim is to foresee the future of different sectors to improve humanity,” Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, UAE Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai, said.
He added: “The summit will unite efforts and ideas to reinforce people’s wellbeing.”
The summit began with the speech of Mohammed Abdullah Al Gergawi, minister of Cabinet Affairs and the Future, and Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of World Economic Forum.
At the opening address, Schwab called for “Globalization 4.0” to address the rapidly complicating landscape presented by the fourth industrial revolution.
Referring to the post-cold war period of global growth, Schwab said that it had lifted hundreds of millions out of poverty but “left winners and losers.”
The summit will include 600 speakers ranging from heads of states, top thinkers, leaders and delegates as well as 30 international organisations.
Additionally, 20 reports with latest figures, studies and data will be published during the summit to help decision-makers and officials to formulate future strategies.