Pakistan has huge potential of investment: Dar

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ISLAMABAD, Nov 5 (APP): Minister for Finance Mohammad Ishaq
Dar said on Thursday that Pakistan has huge potential for investment
in range of sectors where the foreign investors can exploit the
opportunities.
Addressing the concluding session of the two-day Pakistan
Investment Conference here, the minister said this was high time for
the investors as according to a report of a world renowned
institute, Pakistan would become the second choicest place for
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI).He said the current government had a clear vision of promoting business in the country and it had taken multiple initiatives to
bring reforms in various sectors.He said the government also encourage financial inclusion and public-private partnership so the investors could take advantage of the opportunity.
Dar also sought proposals from the audiences to suggest the
government regarding ease of doing business in the country.
Ishaq Dar said that the government would endeavor to bring
down the ranking of Pakistan’s ease of doing business to around 100.
He said the mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor
(CPEC) would bring over $45 billion in the country and a number of
countries around the world were contacting the Pakistan government
to enter into this mega project as this project would not only give
benefit to the two countries but it would also be beneficial for the
entire region.
He said, currently, the government was working on different
energy projects of about 24,000 MW of electricity and by March 2018,
10,600 MW would be entered into the system while in next four years
the rest of the electricity would be ready to be included in the
national grid.
He said before the year 2013, the country was on the verge of
becoming a defaulter as the foreign exchange reserves had gone down
to below US$ 8 billion and no international monetary institution was
ready to lend money to it.
However, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) after coming
into power, worked hard to bring the country out of the financial
crisis, he added.
“Within a short span of two years, the country has made
immense progress as the energy crisis has considerably eased, forex
reserves have touched $20 billion mark, a record in the country’s
history, fiscal deficit has come down from 8.8 percent to 5 percent,
and inflation rate has reduced from above 10 percent to record 1.3
percent.”
Moreover, the minister said, the tax to GDP ratio had also
increased from 9 percent to 11 percent and revenue growth rate also
surged from 3 percent to 15 percent.
Now the world renowned fiscal institutions were praising
Pakistan for its amazing economic development and had rated its
economy as stable, he added.
Dar said if Pakistan continued its journey on the road to
progress which it had witnessed during previous two years, it would
become the world’s 18th major economy in 17 years.
He said the PML-N was strictly implementing its manifesto
announced during the 2013 general election, in which it had vowed to
steer the country out of four crises.
“The country was facing 4 E challenges (Economy, Energy,
Education and Extremism) at the time the PML-N government came into
power, which have now been overcome due to its prudent policies,” he
added.
The minister said Pakistan had immense natural and human
resources, which if utilized wisely and properly, could make it one
of the world’s developed countries.
He also highlighted the progress of ongoing military operation
Zarb-e-Azb against terrorists, saying that the armed forces were
successfully moving ahead and had completed over 80 percent work. In
Karachi and Balochistan too, peace had returned due to operations by
the armed forces, he added.