Prime Minister Imran Khan, addressing the Pakistan Strategy Dialogue in Davos, underscored the government’s efforts to promote business in the country and pitched Pakistan as a viable investment destination for foreign firms.
“When we assumed power, our biggest challenge was the current account deficit – shortage of dollars, our currency was falling, next was investment.”
Reiterating his government’s efforts to remove hurdles in the way of investment, the premier said: “Pakistan was one of the top countries in the World Banks’ ease of doing business index. We still have a long way to go but this is the direction the country is headed in.”
He added that due to the efforts undertaken by the incumbent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government, foreign investment “rose by 200pc in just one year”.
Linking stability in the region with economic progress, the premier added that Islamabad and Washington were working closely for peace in Afghanistan.
“There is a chance of ceasefire in Afghanistan – very important for Pakistan because that opens up the economic corridor to central Asia.”
Elaborating further and shedding light on Islamabad’s efforts to diffuse tensions between Riyadh and Tehran, the prime minister informed the audience that Pakistan has played its part in averting conflict between the two countries, as such a scenario would “be a disaster for Pakistan”.
Imran said tourism doubled in the first year of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government. “Pakistan was considered among top tourist destinations by magazines including the British Backpackers Society.”
He said the country can generate revenue, especially foreign exchange, by boosting the tourism sector.
“Profitability also increased. Foreign investors have returned. The idea is to incentivise businesses and industries,” he said. The premier added the government aimed to move away from the socialist mindset that is “envious of profit-making”.
During the dialogue, he emphasized efforts to attract investment to the country’s agriculture sector.
“We have fertile agricultural land but unfortunately very low productivity.”
“Pakistan has one of the world’s best mineral reserves,” he said and added that mining companies were being given incentives as well.
He further said the country was looking towards digitization. “We have young experts working on a digital Pakistan. We have invited foreign companies to invest.”
“The first year was spent stabilising the economy. This year is the year of growth. We are doing everything possible to attract investment, make it easy for our local industries to invest by giving them incentives. It is for the first time since the 1960s that the government is consciously planning to help its industries grow.”
Source: The Express Tribune