Pakistan now viable, safe for investment: Khurram

LAHORE, Jan 28 (APP): Federal Commerce Minister Engineer Khurram
Dastgir Khan said on Saturday that all economic indicators of the
country showed positive trends during 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 government not only
succeeded to restore peace in the the country by defeating terrorism
and extremism but also managed to overcome substantially energy crisis.
Khurram Dastgir said that Pakistan was being inter connected
with the world through mega project of China Pakistan Economic Corridor, 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 considerably been improved and progressed on many counts.
The minister said the Prime Minister’s Special Package of Rs 180
billion for 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 huge difference in Pakistan’s exports which recorded two to four times increase. “These agreements also help us to connect with the world.”
He said Pakistani leather had its own standard and classification
in the world and to maintain this level exporters to stamp their leather goods with ‘Made in Pakistan’.
He was of the view that Pakistan’s rating was now improving fast
because of effective and viable economic policies of Prime Minister
Muhammad Nawaz Sharif and Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.
He said Pakistan would manage to bridge electricity demand and supply gap by current year end, as the energy projects initiated by the present government had now proved that country would soon get rid of power load shedding. He elaborated that 1320MW Sahiwal coal fired project had recently been connected with the national grid and first coal loaded train would reach the project site soon, while LNG projects and hydel projects including Neelam Jehlum and Tarbel Extension were in their final stages of completion. Out of USD 46 billion investment by China under the CPEC, he mentioned, USD 35 billion was being spent on energy projects.
Khurram 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 energy crisis and re connecting with the world. Despite all odds, democratic process in Pakistan was taking its roots stronger for which credit definitely went to present elected government that played vital role in restoration of peace; ending energy shortage; attracting huge investment under CPEC and ensuring economic stability.
He was of firm 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 of Pakistani products to various global markets.
The minister also called upon the business community to play their due role in highlighting soft and real image of Pakistan to the world.
On this occasion, Trade Development Authority Pakistan (TDAP) Chairman S.M. Munir, Director General Mian Riaz Ahmed, Pakistan Tanners Association (PTA) Chairman Anjum Zaffar, 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.